Biometrics: Solving Myths About Facial Recognition

The acceptance rate for biometrics has increased over the past five years. This should come as no surprise. In the era of digital transformation, companies are looking for innovative and secure solutions to authenticate users looking for access to resources. Ultimately, accurate and reliable authentication is critical to managing the digital risks associated with an unprecedentedly dynamic and diverse workforce connected to a variety of other applications and resources. As identity management becomes more complex, biometrics is rapidly gaining popularity as companies seek to improve their security positions.

Biometric authentication is no longer just of spy movies or provided for military-grade installations. 

Nearly everyone today has a biometric authentication device in the form of a phone in their pocket. But here’s an interesting point from the report: the adoption rate for facial recognition (15 percent) is way behind the adoption rate for fingerprint scanning (40 percent). If we dig deeper into the data, we also find that users can scan their fingerprints as a biometric authentication tool much more comfortably than recognizing faces. This raises the question of why consumers don’t feel better about facial recognition. To some extent, the answer lies in consumers’ perceptions – including misconceptions – about technology and its implications for privacy and security. It’s time to address some of the myths about how facial recognition works to enhance the user experience with biometric authentication technology.

Biometrics: Solving Myths About Facial Recognition

Myth 1: Threats to the confidentiality of government databases

Recently, a colleague who recently returned from vacation said that a friend he meets doesn’t want to use the facial recognition feature on his phone when he is traveling because he believes it will result in a photo of his face that will be permanent in the photo. government-kept databases. Let’s be clear: this is just a myth. On the one hand, the type of facial recognition used on mobile phones today does not use photos for identification. Instead, it is based on technology that creates a mathematical representation of the user’s face. In addition, these representations are usually encrypted, locked locally on the user’s device, and not stored anywhere – either in the cloud or in external, government, or other databases.

Myth 2: The security risk of fake photos

Like the myth that photos from consumer phones enter government databases, this has to do with the misconception that facial recognition technology relies on photos to authenticate users. The fear is that all someone has to do to access a user’s secure app or account is to take a photo of that user and pretend it’s them – as much as they can. Steal other people’s passwords and use them to access password-protected resources. This myth is completely rooted in reality; An article at Wired last year reminded us that in 2009 researchers tricked a face-based login system by simply holding a printed photo of the device owner next to the camera. But again, this is irrelevant in the modern approach to facial biometrics, because there is no picture of it. In contrast, facial recognition is based on a three-dimensional image of the user’s face. What you solve is a complex set of data points that are not gullible.

Myth 3: Risk of Identity Stolen

This brings us to the final myth that one can use data points to map a user’s face to actually recreate that face and thus steal the identity associated with it. For example, why can’t a criminal be able to steal this “card” from the user’s face and print the user’s 3D mask from it? Simple: Because the map has been converted into a mathematical representation that cannot be revised. When you present your face as authentication, technology creates a mathematical value for it, and that value is used for comparison purposes to determine if the same person originally “learned” the device. So you have a situation where the data isn’t easy to access at first, and even if someone could, they can’t use it in this form to recreate someone. It’s just that technology doesn’t work.

Understandably, consumers will have doubts and fears about facial recognition. However, it didn’t take long enough to build a solid track record as a trustworthy verification tool. And the early incarnations of technology had security concerns, such as the ability to be fooled by photos. Every new technological application must grow and evolve, and the use of facial recognition as a form of biometric authentication is sure to exist. Adoption takes time, along with reliable information and information on how technology works. Dispelling myths and misconceptions is an important step in the process.

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