Facebook is reportedly working on facial-recognition software that would verify the identities of users trying to access the app.
Jane Manchun Wong, a technology blogger and app researcher who unlocks features before they launch, tweeted out a prototype of Facebook’s facial-recognition identity login on.
This is how Facebook's Facial Recognition-based Identity Verification looks like
It asks me to look at several directions within the circle
It explicitly states no one else will see the video selfie and will be deleted 30 days after the confirmation pic.twitter.com/296bGRDyYZ
— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) November 5, 2019
You’d have to take a “video selfie” where you look in different directions to give Facebook a more complete view of your face. It would bit like Apple’s Face ID and similar systems, but there’s no evidence it would require a depth sensor. Facebook vows that “no one else” will see the video and that it’ll delete the clip after 30 days, although that’s not quite as secure as systems like Face ID (which doesn’t allow data to leave the device, and only captures “mathematical representations” of your face).
There’s also mention of an updated process for submitting your ID photo for account verification. It’s decidedly less sophisticated and simply involves snapping a photo of your ID on a flat, well-lit surface and submitting the picture.
This isn’t the first time Facebook has dabbled in facial-recognition technology. The social network used facial-recognition software on photos for tagging suggestions, which led to controversy over whether or not users had given consent for the technology. In July, Facebook was hit with a $5 billion penalty as part of a historic settlement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), partially over the facial-recognition feature. The FTC said that Facebook misrepresented users’ ability to control how their photos were used for facial recognition.
Aside from the $5 billion fine, the FTC ordered Facebook to “provide clear and conspicuous notice of its use of facial-recognition technology, and obtain affirmative express user consent prior to any use that materially exceeds its prior disclosures to users,” according to an FTC press release.
Facial-recognition software is nothing new, and many companies have begun to use it in a variety of ways. Amazon’s facial-recognition software can even detect emotions on people’s faces, including fear.