During the past summer, MasterCard was experimenting with a new security feature: approving online purchase with a facial scan. Instead of memorizing the password, buyers must snap a photo of their face at checkout. This new feature is similar to Apple’s fingerprint scanner in a way to help stop hackers from using buyer’s card on the web. According to the company’s representative, MasterCard chose this feature in order to adapt to the new generation’s trend of snapping selfies. This technique was to be experimented with 500 customers.
Here’s how it works:
1. Download the MasterCard phone app.
2. A pop-up will ask for your authorization after a purchase.
3. You can either choose to use fingerprint scanning or face recognition; for fingerprint, all you have to do is touch the screen, and for face recognition, you have to stare at the screen and blink once.
MasterCard suggests that blinking is a way to prevent thieves from using a picture of you in order to fool the system. They also promise that MasterCard would not be able to reconstruct your face, and that the data would remain safe on the company’s computer server. Once the scan has mapped out your face, it will be converted into 1s and 0s, and the data will be transmitted to MasterCard through the Internet.
Some people believe that this technique is a threat to privacy because the user’s photo will be available along with his or her personal information. However, others argue that they are storing an algorithm, instead of an actual picture of the user.
Personal thoughts: It is true that technology like fingerprint scanning and face recognition can prevent hackers from breaking into our account and using our credit card, however, it can also threaten our privacy by revealing our true face and identity.
What do you think about using face recognition to approve your web purchases? Since many of us take selfies on a daily basis, would you enjoy using this feature? Would this be able to secure your credit card information, or would it post as a threat to your privacy?