Are Seflies Replacing Passwords?

Amazon is looking into allowing shoppers to pay with a selfie, or a picture of themselves. The online retailer has filed a patent application for the technology, saying it is more secure and less “awkward” than traditional passwords.

Customers would be prompted to take a quick selfie or video of themselves to authenticate payments, instead of typing a password. To double check that the image is a legitimate selfie of a living human being and not just a scan of a picture of the user, the system would require users to blink, smile or tilt their head when taking the picture.

Amazon’s facial recognition system would ensure it is the actual customer, and not hackers, thieves or kids using their parent’s devices, who is making the purchase. The process would replace typed passwords in the same way that the iPhone’s thumbprint has replaced the security PIN to open the phone.

MasterCard has recently launched selfie and finger print payments based on a similar principle, and Windows 10 allows people to log into their PCs with a facial scan. So, is Amazon hopping on a train that is catering to the trend of the “selfie generation,” or is this really the death of the typed password?

I guess time will only tell.


About the Author

Sydny Shepard is the Executive Editor of Campus Security & Life Safety.

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