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This article was published on March 14, 2016


Amazon wants to let you pay with a selfie using a cheeky wink to confirm

Amazon wants to let you pay with a selfie using a cheeky wink to confirm
Kirsty Styles
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Kirsty Styles

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Kirsty Styles is a journalist who lives in Hackney. She was previously editor at Tech City News and is now a reporter at The Next Web. She l Kirsty Styles is a journalist who lives in Hackney. She was previously editor at Tech City News and is now a reporter at The Next Web. She loves tech for good, cleantech, edtech, assistive tech, politech (?), diversity in tech.

It’s certainly not the first company to start work on a pay-by-selfie technique but Amazon has filed a patent for a new system that’ll have you spending your money quicker than you already do… on Amazon.

It’ll work by using facial recognition to compare a selfie taken at the transaction stage to an image it already holds of you, while adding an extra layer of security to confirm you’re a “living human” by getting you to perform an action, like a cheeky wink.

Screen Shot 2016-03-14 at 15.03.36

Amazon explains in the patent that it’s responding directly to the fact that “passwords can be stolen or discovered by other persons who can impersonate the user for any of a variety of tasks.”

It also says that entering your password can be a bit of a pain on mobile devices, for fat thumbs at least, and it can be a bit awkward to have to shield your screen from your friends when entering sensitive details.

But the two-factor system described seeks to go beyond existing examples of biometric facial recognition, which Amazon says can easily be “spoofed” by holding a picture in front of the device’s camera.

MasterCard is expected to roll out selfie payments in 15 countries this summer, having already tested them in the US and the Netherlands last year.

Image analysis for user authentication [US Patent and Trademark Office via Re/code]

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