Facebook testing facial recognition system for account recovery

Facebook is currently testing a facial recognition system exclusively as a mechanism for recovering a locked account, according to a report by PC Mag.

Matt Navarra, director of social media for TheNextWeb conference, posted the tweet: “NEW! Facebook working on a facial recognition feature to help secure your account”, along with the facial recognition check Facebook uses for identification.

Navarra also mentions in the tweet that he received the details from social media researcher Devesh Logendran.

Facebook has since released a statement to TechCrunch, who first broke the story, confirming the facial recognition technology is being tested.

“We are testing a new feature for people who want to quickly and easily verify account ownership during the account recovery process,” Facebook said in the statement. “This optional feature is available only on devices you’ve already used to log in. It is another step, alongside two-factor authentication via SMS, that we’re taking to make sure account owners can confirm their identity.”

And while Apple is using its previously announced Face ID facial recognition to unlock the iPhone X whenever the user wants to use it, Facebook has made a conscious decision to only use the technology for account recovery purposes.

Though the feature is optional, it is likely that Facebook will be tempted to expand its use if it becomes successful.

Previously reported, Facebook has intensified its state lobbying in the wake of an ongoing facial recognition lawsuit filed in Illinois, but is doing so by engaging industry groups like the Internet Association and CompTIA to deal directly with lawmaker.

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