Using facial recognition on smartphones: Benefits and risks

Using facial recognition on smartphones

A real fruit of technological evolution, facial recognition is increasingly integrated into our smartphones. It combines biometrics and artificial intelligence to identify a person after comparing and analyzing their facial features.

The use of facial recognition is gaining momentum among smartphone users and on several types of devices. It is fast, very trendy and more. It unlocks the device by simply placing it in front of the face.

How does facial recognition work on smartphones?

By placing your smartphone in front of you, the device uses its photographic sensor to scan and analyze your face. Its algorithm analyzes different characteristics of your face, called " nodal points ". Among these features are:

  • face shape,
  • The distance between the eyes,
  • The distance separating the nose from the eyes and the mouth,
  • The length of the nose and the width of the jaw,
  • And many more functions

These are a whole bunch of details about your face which, when collected and measured, create a digital code of your face (Faceprint). These characteristics are unique and differ from person to person. This allows facial recognition to identify you accurately.

Read also: Benefits and risks of fingerprinting on a smartphone.

After analyzing the face, the biometric data collected is coded, converted into mathematical data and compared with that of the face to be identified. Which means that with the use of facial recognition on your device, your face is the only one that can unlock it.

In short, when you first set up your face on your device, it takes your features and saves them. Whenever facial recognition is invoked upon unlocking, it will analyze the facial features in front and compare them to yours. If it's not your face then it will be rejected.

Read also: How to create stronger passwords ?

Benefits of using facial recognition on smartphone

Using facial recognition to unlock a phone offers two main benefits; device access speed and security. In your absence, it is therefore not possible for another person to access the data contained in your smartphone.

Only your face or those recognized by the device will be able to unlock it. Best of all, you won't have to touch the screen to draw a diagram, enter a PIN code or password.

Smartphone facial recognition

Thanks to artificial intelligence and deep learning, the facial recognition tools integrated into our smartphones are becoming more and more efficient. Each time you present your face to the device, it picks up and saves the new changes. This will allow it to instantly identify your face next time.

Read also: Why Use PIN or Password Lock ?

Risks of using facial recognition on smartphones

Facial recognition is a technology that generates a lot of controversy about mass surveillance, people's individual freedoms and about their private lives. On the other hand, in the security of a smartphone, it remains very interesting.

The use of facial recognition does not have only advantages. This technology can be very dangerous if exploited with bad intentions. Although fast, when it comes to unlocking a device, facial recognition can be very dangerous.

Despite its strengths, it does not protect the user from problems. First of all, it is not impossible that your device will be unlocked with your photo, both by people or objects with a similar appearance.

Imagine that someone, in possession of your phone, forced you to unlock it. With the use of facial recognition, what effort would it cost him? All he would have to do is pass it in front of your face to access the data on the device.

Sometimes you may be forced to unlock your device, especially since this is done without physical contact. This could be dangerous for your privacy and the confidentiality of your personal data. You wonder under what circumstances would that happen!

They could be security guards, burglars or any other category of people, benevolent or malicious. Some people have already seen their smartphones unlocked, during sleep and with their own faces, by their spouses or close friends.

Although it may require the configuration of a secret code, which can be used in the event of a problem with face identification, facial recognition is a technology to be used with caution. It carries with it a lot of problems related to the privacy of its users.

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