3 August 2020
Scenario 1: You’re walking across Times Square, or sitting in your seat at Wembley Stadium. Face recognition technology, combined with CCTV, is scanning the crowds and matching faces against a database of known or suspected criminals. You do not know if or when face recognition is being carried out on you. You are not able to opt out of it. There is no direct personal benefit to you from it. You do not know how the images are being used, shared or stored.
Scenario 2: You’re sitting at home. You want to apply for a visa for an upcoming vacation. You open your laptop, or pick up your mobile phone, and log on to the government visa service. You use the device camera to scan your driver’s license or passport to prove your identity. You then scan your face. Face verification technology confirms that your physical face matches the one in the ID document, and that you are real and completing this application right now. You know that the facial verification is being done. You choose to do it. There is a direct personal benefit to you (you get to go on your vacation). And with iProov’s face verification technology, you know that the images are kept behind a privacy firewall and are subject to strict GDPR rules.
Face recognition and face verification are often lumped together and used interchangeably to mean the same thing. But the truth is that the two technologies and the purpose of their use are completely different and need to be considered separately. Questions about the ethics of facial recognition for surveillance, and the call for clarity and limitations on its use, are matters for serious public discussion. However, face verification is not the same thing.
Why do we need face verification?
Put simply, face verification is needed for your online security.
Traditionally, we have verified our identity by walking into a bank or a government office and handing someone our documentation, which they then confirm matches the physical face that they see in front of them. But how do we transfer that process onto the internet? How do I prove to you that I am who I say I am if I’m sitting on my sofa using a mobile device?
Your unique face is the most secure way of verifying your identity online, and it’s the only way that businesses and government services can be assured that you and only you have access to your data:
Online crime is growing, both in the number of attacks and in the sophistication of the tactics used by international criminal gangs. We all need a way to secure ourselves against identity and financial theft. Face verification enables us to do this, and iProov face verification allows us to do so with maximum security and simplicity.
Examples of when online face verification is beneficial:
There are many occasions when we as individuals need to confirm with enterprises, banks and government services that we exist and that the physical being asserting the identity is the rightful owner of that identity. Here are a few examples of when online face verification makes processes easier, faster and more secure:
iProov: facial verification not facial recognition
iProov provides facial verification. Our Genuine Presence Assurance technology enables users to complete a facial biometric verification and confirm that they are:
A user simply looks at their mobile device or laptop screen. Their face is illuminated by a series of colours. This brief ceremony detects that the user is a real human being and not a photograph or mask. It also assures that they are genuinely present in real-time, and not a deepfake or replay attack. And finally, as a “one-time biometric” it cannot be reused and is therefore secure against being used in a replay or other criminal attacks.
With iProov facial verification the user has:
As well as being the most secure way to verify your identity online, iProov is also the easiest to use. We firmly believe that security without usability is worthless. As passwords become more complicated, users simply find workarounds to remember them. Those workarounds, such as writing passwords down or using the same one for multiple accounts, are often not secure. iProov technology requires no effort from the user.
Face verification offers us security, safety, simplicity and privacy in a digital world. It is quite different to face recognition and the two should be treated differently.