Google Files Patent for Future Password Replacement: Recognition with Funny Faces

#Future

Fri, Jun 7th, 2013 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Rebecca Greenfield of The Atlantic Wire reports on a patent filed by Google for "a next-generation password replacement: sticking your tongue out at your phone, which security experts tell The Atlantic Wire might just do the trick."

Forget Mission: Impossible-style retina scans or basic facial recognition (which could be replicated with a single photo, obviously), Google's biometrics filing suggests we use "at least one of a blink gesture, a wink gesture, an ocular movement, a smile gesture, a frown gesture, a tongue protrusion gesture, an open mouth gesture, an eyebrow movement, a forehead wrinkle gesture, and a nose wrinkle gesture." The idea here is that a hacker can fool a computer with a static image. But moving our faces in a very particular way is a unique marker that not even an impostor can fool. At least that's the theory.

Google already has tried something like this with its "liveness check," which asks Android phone users to wink at the camera to prove their identity. That security strategy, it turns out, is incredibly easy to bypass with some very simple photoshopping skills. "Android has experimented with facial recognition, but people found that you could easily defeat it by holding up a photograph," Andrew Jaquith, CTO at the cloud security firm SilverSky, told the Wire in a phone interview. "There are always ways to fake this. The question is whether they have been smart enough to do that."

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