Will facial recognition passwords actually work?
2 experts and 1 parent have answered
Do you know what makes an AWESOME password? Phrases. Plain old things like "I wonder about wandering away with the wind". But very few sites allow it - insisting instead on mad combos of ^7Nka sort of gubbins. There's a site who did the maths on breaking phrase-based passwords and it's fascinating. The cryptology behind it should be pushed to sites everywhere.
I say this because I'm none too fond of a world in which Minority Report-style facial recognition becomes a way to access data. Sure it sounds convenient but I don't really want my economic or social path to be tracked at every point in my life.
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Like Dom, I'm not too keen on the kind of world we saw in Minority Report, with shops recognising me as I walk in etc. The more convenient things become for us online, the easier it will be for other people to take advantage.
Plus, if I'm feeling fragile and looking rough on a Sunday morning I don't fancy having to pull myself together to get the Sunday papers. It's bad enough being judged by people, let alone machines.
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Passwords are a pain. Make them too simple, you risk getting hacked easily; too difficult, and you'll have a hard time remembering them. So how about using facial recognition to unlock your phone, or even make credit card payments? Depends how good you are at making silly faces – and replicating them...
Google filed a patent last year for software that would let Android users unlock their phones with a wink, smile, or by stinking their tongues out. Which is pretty fun – I'm sure kids'll love it – but it does mean having to make the exact same silly face whenever you need your phone, and doing it in public. Not only that, but it's pretty easy to get around, simply by using a similar-looking photo of yourself (or whoever's phone your trying to break into).
Not necessarily a big deal with that, but what about if people could steal your credit card the same way? A Finnish company came up with a pretty cool technology that lets you pay for things usual facial recognition – and just your regular face, too – but could that be just as easily tricked? As a novelty, it's kinda fun, but ultimately facial recognition seems even more riddled with security problems than, well, regular passwords.