Amazon is in process of signing a patent that allows you to confirm payments via facial recognition, changing the way we would make online purchases from now onwards. At least on Amazon, that is. However, just because this particular company has applied for the patent doesn’t mean it is necessarily the first that got the idea – even if it is in a different form.
This is currently considered one of the better alternatives when it comes to security, by far exceeding the amount of protection a PIN or a password can normally give. While fingerprint reading could also be a viable option, technology does not yet support this type of feature on all devices individuals use for online purchases. For example, some smartphones may have a fingerprint reader and so may some types of business laptops, but in the meantime, desktops will need a separate peripheral for that and tablets aren’t exactly popular for featuring fingerprint readers yet.
The patent that Amazon has applied for is very much reminiscent of the way so many fiction pieces would depict an access point that would scan your face or your eye in order to provide entry through high-security doors. Instead of having to enter a code or a password, the app would request that you place your face in the designated box after you hit the purchase button. Afterwards, the system would take two separate pictures of your face – once using a normal expression and the second that would request a specific action on the user’s behalf. These actions could mean blinking an eye, smiling, tilting their head or mimicking other facial expressions.
This is an initiative that Amazon had to ensure that the system cannot be tricked by the use of 2D photos of the owner, which could sometimes confuse the method that it employs to recognize a face.
Amazon commented on where this initiative came from when research done on a number of cases revealed the dire issue that passwords have. Because on mobile devices entering passwords can easily turn into a nuisance that can result in either accidentally locking yourself out of your account or convincing you to hit the ‘always remember password’ button. Naturally, the latter will create some problems should your device be stolen, for example.
And because fingerprint reading is not that kindly regarded by a number of individuals as it will unequivocally store that type of personal data which could fall into the wrong hands should a catastrophe occur.
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