Amazon is seeking to patent a method of authorising purchases through selfies rather than traditional passwords.
In a recent patent filing, the online retail giant said it wants to use facial-recognition to allow users to approve purchases with videos or photos of a user’s face.
Amazon said such selfie authentication would offer its customers a more secure and fail-safe method of signing into their accounts.
"Such approaches provide for user authentication without the user having to physically interact with a computing device, which can enable a user to access information by looking at a camera, performing a simple gesture such as a smile, or performing another such action," the company said in its patent application.
"While many conventional approaches rely on password entry for user authentication, these passwords can be stolen or discovered by other persons who can impersonate the user for any of a variety of tasks.”
To prevent cyber criminals from trying to dupe facial recognition systems by holding up a photo of a user to a camera, Amazon’s patent application includes a two-step process. This would require a user to first take a selfie to identify themselves and then carry out certain motions such as tilting their head.
Amazon is not the only company tapping into the trend for selfies; MasterCard recently said it is incorporating facial recognition into its payment authentication process.
With the likes of Apple and Samsung offering digital wallets with biometric security in the form of fingerprint scanners, payment authentication is increasingly moving away from passwords.
This is part of a wider trend of digitalisation within the payments industry. PayPal, for example, is looking to increase it influence in the world of e-commerce with plans to create a white label platform that businesses can use to offer customers a secure and robust way to carry out digital payments.
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