Google tries to patent facial expression logins, but experts don’t think it’s worth the bother
Having recently proposed some wacky ideas about how to do authentication with a tattoo or by swallowing a pill, Google is hoping to patent logins with facial expressions, it’s emerged.
According to a patent application released two days ago, Google would like to see whether having a user pull various facial expressions could be used to let them into their online accounts.
Facial recognition technology, which Google has just banned from its wearable Glass device, is core to the idea.
Authentication via funny faces
According to the application, a user would pull two different faces, which the recognition software would recognise and the user would be authenticated.
The Google patent application said a gesture would include “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”.
A number of security experts have questioned whether such authentication would actually benefit the user, however.
“Initially, this technology still suffers from the fact you only have one camera, so there is no 3D depth measurement, meaning a simple photograph on paper or a screen would fool simple face recognition,” Per Thorsheim, password expert and security consultant, told TechWeekEurope.
“Getting a picture of your face that we can animate/morph could be an attack vector, planting malware on your phone to make a recording while you do your routine another one.
“If I can phish you into installing malware onto your phone, why would I record your gestures? YouTube entertainment?
“[It’s] interesting research [but] not ready for mainstream usage yet.”
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