Is facial recognition set to explode as a security measure

With this story below it seems like the technology has come a long way if they are investing these kinds of dollars in it along with confidence that it works. Has affordable hard and software technology gotten to the point this will be affordable for everyday businesses like bars, banks, nightclubs etc?

UK cops will deploy facial recognition scanners for soccer championship

Boy, I totally read this thread’s title the wrong way.

“Logging into Straight Dope Message Board…Facial recognition has FAILED…This computer will self-destruct in 10…9…8…”

Not really the same thing, but my wife and I just returned from a trip oversea - and every time we went through customs, the first event in our doing so was our putting our passports into a scanner and then walking up to a camera which verified that we were indeed the person whose photograph was on our passport. Worked just fine every time for both my wife and I, but failed for some of our fellow passengers (who had to go into another queue).

Experiments with this sort of tech have been done in US sporting events over 10 years ago. Not with great success, but with some. But that was then and this is now.

I’m not sure what the OP is asking. A bar can’t practically use a facial recognition system unless they have a database of faces to look at. Could police agencies put such systems in public spaces and scan crowds against their database of pictures of people with outstanding warrants? Technologically speaking the answer is “Sure.” Could they subscribe to the FaceBook, etc., main feed and do the same thing with every picture posted by anyone? Sure. There’s some false alarm rate, but maybe it’s low enough to get a warrant from. Certainly close enough to do a “stop and ID check” on anyone the system alarms on. Again that’s speaking to the tech, not the law.

I could see credit card companies going this way. A picture of the cardholder is in their database and any purchase is authenticated by scanning their face, not their card or chip or PIN. But as we’ve seen with the slow roll-out of chip readers in the US, it would take decades to retrofit all the retailers. OTOH, if the scanner is *your *phone instead of the **merchant’s **terminal, a lot of the resistance melts away.

Privacy and public anonymity is so last century. Unfortunately.

Why would any private business want to do that, affordable or not? Why would a business owner want to say ‘come into my store and risk getting arrested for something unrelated like an old parking ticket or back child support or bail jumping two years ago’? Furthermore, why would the business owner want to pay to drive away that business. If the government wants to do it at a government owned stadium or government owned airport etc, I understand, but other than a small handful, I don’t think most business owners will be willing, at least not without a sizeable incentive.

Commenting only on this…I don’t think it would be as bad as rolling out chips. Rolling out chips was (and still is) getting millions of merchants new hardware and training. Cardholders need new cards. I can’t even imagine how much software had to be written (and re-written after the first roll out) and on top of that, keep in mind, we basically have two systems now, chips and magstripes and they have to work at the same time. There’s a lot going on and there’s all the security to worry about.

For what you want, it’s just a matter of adding a camera and taking a picture, that’s it. In fact, my credit card machine already has the ability. I don’t use the feature, but it has a camera and it has an app to take a picture each time there’s a transaction. The idea being that if there’s a chargeback, it’s a little more proof that the person that used the card is the card holder. The whole idea felt a little creepy to me and the handful of times we’ve had someone question a charge, I’ve just pulled it up on my security cameras.

My Huaweii phone has this feature.

Bolding mine.

I’m not advocating for this. Not even a little bit. The OP asked what applications might be invented. And I offered one plausible idea.

As you say, verifying who actually is using a card has advantages for the merchants and the CC companies. The benefit to the consumer is mostly nil until and unless the regulations change to put liability for unauthorized use onto the consumer. At which point they’ll be clamoring for some kind of additional proof of identity before use.

An interesting idea alongside this is using a phone as part of the authentication chain for ecommerce on a PC. i.e. you browse on your PC to Amazon to buy something but your CC won’t go through unless you use your phone to snap a picture of your face as part of the process. With enough crypto-magic to ensure the picture is real and live, not fake or canned, that solves all the problems we still have today, even with chip or chip-and-PIN, over card-not-present transactions that are essentially anonymous.

Even absent facial recognition the phone can still be used as a two-factor token. e.g CC company sends magic code number to phone and user must key magic code number into website on PC to complete purchase. Now the bad guys have to steal not only your CC number but also your phone and its password.

I heard its a numbers issue.

If the thing fails even 1% of the time and its has to look at 10,000 people a day, that means 100 people will get detained for looking like someone else. And that is only if they have a near perfect picture of someone.

Where do you get the idea that the credit card companies have pictures of their cardholders? As far as I know, Chase has no idea what I look like.

First, LSLGuy, I didn’t mean to suggest that you wanted that, I was just replying to the concept, that’s all.

I was somewhat confused by the whole thing as well, until the second post (which was why I picked out only the one line to reply to). I think what he’s saying is that you would upload a picture of yourself, then when you swipe your card, it would ping your phone, you’d let it take a picture and if everything is good, the charge goes through. If it doesn’t recognize you OR your phone asks for your face and you didn’t just use your card, you know something is wrong and you could decline the charge (probably a button on the app).

I want to say that some credit cards come with some type of authentication like that. At the very least I’m pretty sure at least one of my cards (Amex or Chase) lets me set a limit and if a charge is higher than that, it’ll send an alert to my phone.

For the technology, to work for crimefighting, it needs the have ready access to a picture database, ideally, the process is automated and the person is flagged by the system.For that, you need fast processing speed and data links. And then said system So it works as part of a system, not on its own.

They installed a system a couple of years ago here in Islamabad under a project called the “Safe city project” and other major cities are now installing similar systems. The police are a bit coy about its exact capabilities, but from what they have said in public, the system can flag a Person of interest. Its still the coppers on the ground who have to go and make the final determination.

At my job they need people to do this. Trained, experienced people, not just monkeys that you paid $12 to stand around.

Double post

Actually, they do. They suggest you try a different hairstyle…

Though it’s not from Chase, I do have a photo on my debit card. I also have facial recognition feature on my Galaxy S8 phone. Given that the phone only recognizes me about 40% of the time, I think we have a long way to go before the affordable tech is good enough for biometrics at point of sale.

When I read the OP line, I immediately thought, “Well, what part of the hardware do you rig to explode, and how would it determine when to set off the detonator?” :wink:

I don’t think they do.

I’m saying that if/when face recognition became a standard part of credit card security *then *customers would provide “mug shots” to the CC companies and the companies would be willing & able to host them for later comparison.

I do know that since the 1980s at least some credit card vendors, e.g. Chase, offered to print your picture on the front of your credit card. Just a 1/2" square “thumbnail” at upper left or right overlaid on their normal logo’d card. The pic was taken at their branch.

The whole point was that merchants (live human cashiers) were expected to look at the pic and compare it to the person handing them the card. If they didn’t match it was time for more questions, more ID, etc.

For whatever reason this option did not become popular. But I know people who’re still carrying cards with their face printed on them. So clearly at least some issuers are still issuing such cards.

I was going to get one of those photo ID credit cards with a picture of a better-looking person on it.

At least somebody younger. :slight_smile:

Lots of incentive for businesses:

  • system identifies person as a good customer who spends a lot & notifies store; they send an employee to greet customer by name, mention their last purchase, ask how they can help, steer customer to high-priced items.
  • system identifies person as someone who was caught shoplifting 2 years ago (maybe even at a different branch of the chain): store sends security to eject them from the store.
  • system identifies person as a fussy customer who often complains about her meal and wants it to be comp’ed: waiter is notified to be extra careful to clarify what she is ordering.
  • system identifies customer as one who frequently returns items after 1 use: store prompts cashier to notify customer & print on receipt “goods sold as is – no returns allowed”.
  • system identifies customer as one who gives poor tips: manager is notified to seat customer at poorest table location.
  • system identifies customer as they walk into car dealer as one with bad credit or past repo’s: salesman is notified to include additional markup in the price to cover higher risk to dealer.

Note that almost all of these help the business; not so much for the customer.

They can just buy them from Facebook; they have a massive database of pictures of people & their friends & relatives, and they have all been self-identified by the customers. Also, their agreement gives Facebook the right to use those pictures & sell them if they wish (with no compensation to the customer).

And many credit companies offer the option of ‘personalizing’ your credit card with your picture on the back. All CostCo cards are this way, for example.

And many states will sell their drivers license database, complete with pictures. And any arrest records with mug shots are public information, accessible to anyone. Ad red-light camera photos.

Lots of ways for companies to get a photo of people already. And they can easily build their own: camera takes pictures as customer enters the store, saves it for a while to match with camera picture of person paying at the register; most of them pay by check or credit card, so the store has them identified.