Facebook may add a biometric security layer to Messenger app

Facebook may add a biometric security layer to Messenger app

Rumors that Facebook will implement its own biometric facial authentication for its Messenger application are incorrect, according to a report by Zak Doffman for Forbes.

Researcher Jane Manchun Wong had Tweeted that the social media company was working on an unlock function similar to Face ID, but the company has publicly declared that it will use on-device biometric security, if any, according to the report. A screenshot suggests the feature could be set to activate when the user leaves Messenger or after a set period of time, and that biometric data is not transmitted to or stored by Facebook servers.

A Facebook spokesperson told Doffman the company “would use the Face ID settings on the device, not our own version” for privacy features like biometric unlocking.

MSPoweruser interprets Facebook’s statement as tacit confirmation that Facebook does plan to use the native biometric capabilities of mobile devices for Messenger. The same article does acknowledge, however, that the feature is currently experimental, and there is not assurance that it will ever reach operation.

Forbes points out that Facebook has been looking for a way to expand its use of facial recognition for some time. With 2 billion users and hundreds of billions of images in its servers, the company has major incentive to commercialize its data. The social media giant has found itself in a class-action suit it has been unable to have quashed, however, and has been facing additional complaints in the U.S. and Europe. Facebook is also one of the platforms Clearview AI controversially scraped data from for its facial recognition technology development.

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