Facebook is testing a new feature that will allow you to simply face the camera on your phone to log into your account. This facial recognition technology will be useful for times when you are locked out of your account and cannot receive a two-factor authentication SMS.
“We are testing a new feature for people who want to quickly and easily verify account ownership during the account recovery process. This optional feature is available only on devices you’ve already used to log in. It is another step, alongside two-factor authentication via SMS, that we’re taking to make sure account owners can confirm their identity.”
This is a step up from techniques the social media giant has used in the past to help users regain access to their accounts, including identifying photos of your friends or having “Trusted Friends” who can help out by sending you a recovery code with a special URL you can use to get back into your account.
Privacy concerns are certainly an issue with this kind of identity-verifying technology. There are questions about how easy it would be to trick the feature, giving another person access to your account and identity.
There is at least the possibility of the system being abused. So will people use it if it is offered? It all comes down to how badly they want to get back to that unending stream of friends, birthday greetings, breakup dramas, and photos of someone’s fancy dinner. But, realistically, considering how much information Facebook has on most of us, and the sheer number of photos we happily post on a regular basis, if there is danger, we are already in it.
The screenshot image below, which previews the look of the new facial recognition feature, was sent by social media researcher Devesh Logendran (a pseudonym) to TNW’s Matt Navarra.