Report: Selfies Could Replace Password Identification

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Technology is always evolving and so ways in which we use it are always evolving, as well. Not that long ago, PIN codes and passwords were pretty much the only two options when it came to identity verification. Today, we have things like security line patterns, tapping patterns, fingerprint readers, and iris scanners. In addition to that, numerous companies are already testing another solution for user identification – selfies. Well, facial recognition to be more precise, but basically selfies.

Earlier this year, MasterCard introduced its first selfie pay service which launched in the form of a mobile app dubbed Identity Check Mobile. The app allows you to use your credit card online and verifies your identity through a front-facing camera of your device. You basically just have to look at your camera and blink when asked to so that the app can be sure no one is using a still photo of your humble self. While Identity Check Mobile is still officially in a testing phase, MasterCard is obviously rather pleased with its initial reception as the company's already making long-term plans for the service. Namely, the New York-based corporation has just announced that Identity Check Mobile will be storing user photos locally as of next year, adding that 92% of its customers stated they'd rather use biometric screening technology instead of a password when making online payments.

MasterCard isn't the only major company that's offering selfies as alternatives to more traditional means of digital identification. The omnipresent ride-sharing company Uber is now using biometric screenings in order to verify identities of its drivers. Every once in a while, Uber drivers are requested to send a selfie using an in-house app which forwards their picture to Microsoft's Cognitive Services program that matches their selfies with pictures it has on file. Despite the fact that a lot of pictures in Microsoft's database aren't exactly of the highest quality, Uber boasts that it can verify approximately 99% of all received selfies. A UK-based bank HSBC is also using a similar service to allow its customers to verify their online identity by taking a selfie which is then matched to the photo on their driver's license.

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All in all, the adoption of selfie verification is on the rise and that trend is expected to continue as more and more phones with capable front-facing cameras are hitting the market. Given that fact and recent reports of iris scanners trickling down to budget devices in the near future, there's actually a chance that passwords and PIN codes may become obsolete.