Face Authentication

Face Authentication definition

Face Authentication is a biometrics-based technology that allows individuals to access resources such as physical locations, online services, or mobile tools using unique characteristics of their face while identifying the individual. It generally works by matching the individual’s facial biometric data to the faceprint of the individual for a specific authorization to use the service, item or access an area.

What Is Face Authentication?

Face authentication is a process where an individual’s scanned physical face is confirmed to have access to the service to be utilized. Face authentication is also commonly called face or facial recognition although they may not exactly be the same thing.  Face authentication relies on biometric detecting devices native sensing technology and algorithms. The biometric algorithms are utilized as software that uses device cameras for this purpose. In addition, liveness detection is often added as an extra necessary security layer, where the user may be prompted to move their face by blinking, nodding, smiling, or doing any kind of movement with their face, either during the authentication process or the entire time while accessing the service.

How Does Face Authentication Work?

Face Authentication works by utilizing biometrics detection technologies. Biometrics are biological measurements or physical features that are used to identify individuals. Some common forms of biometrics include fingerprint mapping, retina scans, and facial biometrics.

Face authentication processes generally have four basic phases or steps, namely face recording & conversion, face detection, face analysis & conversion, and matching

– Face Recording & Conversion

During the face recording & conversion phase, the face of the individual is captured by a device. The algorithmic software figures the geometry and biometrics of an individual’s unique facial features such as distance between forehead to chin or the width of the mouth from the captured image, which is utilized to acquire a set of digital data code. The numerical code acquired is called a faceprint or biometric template, which is unique for every person.

– Face Detection

During the face detection phase, the device locates and detects the face of the person, differentiating it from the background or from other individuals.

– Face Analysis & Conversion

During the face analysis phase, an image of the face is captured and analyzed by the device utilized. Again this image is converted into a faceprint by an algorithmic software. The identified facial biometrics in the faceprint allow the matching phase to be easier.

– Matching

During the matching phase, the acquired faceprint is compared to the unique faceprint acquired initially for a correct match. AI and machine learning technologies may also be utilized for facial recognition, where they are trained with image recognition algorithms and training sets so that they can match a faceprint with different poses and environmental conditions.

How Is Face Authentication Used?

The primary target of facial authentication is to utilize facial recognition technologies to identify correct individuals. As such, face authentication technologies have multiple applications for commercial ventures, entertainment and security services.

– Security Services and Law Enforcement

Globally, security services utilize face authentication to allow access to persons to critical areas and services within private companies or governmental institutions. Mobile face recognition has been utilized by law enforcers to use portable smart devices such as mobile phones to take images of a person to compare it to face recognition databases for accurate identification.

– International Travel

In airports, border control utilizes face authentication technology in conjunction with biometric passports to allow people to skip extended waiting lines in favor of an automated fate, where the face of the traveler is matched with their passport image.

– Banking

Clients of banks can opt into facial authentication so that they can authorize transactions by looking at their smartphones or laptops with cameras instead of using OTPs on their devices. This adds another level of security in case the device in question is stolen as a second authentication factor.

– Accessing Smart Devices

Users can record their faceprint on their smartphones as a security feature to make sure only they can use the device in question. Some hotels also utilize face authentication to allow their guests access to their rooms or other amenities.

– Entertainment

Social media platforms such as Snapchat and Instagram can utilize facial recognition for entertainment. These platforms can recognize faces for instant tagging or for using filters for people to enjoy.

What is Facial Biometric Authentication?

Facial recognition is the technology capable of identifying or verifying an individual through an image, video, or any audiovisual element of their face. Facial Biometric Authentication utilizes this technology to allow an individual to access an application, service, or system.

Biometric identification uses measurements from bodies. In facial biometric authentication, the technology utilizes the face and head of an individual to verify the identity of the individual via their facial biometric pattern by collecting the unique biometric data associated with their face and expression.

Is There Any Difference Between Face Authentication and Facial Recognition?

Face Authentication is utilized when a 1:1 match is needed to access an application, device, service or system, while face recognition is utilized when a 1:n match type is needed to identify an individual. Face authentication matches the acquired facial biometric data to a specific user. Facial recognition matches the acquired faceprint to a database of faceprints, usually to identify the individual.

Is Face Authentication Safe? What Are The Benefits of Face Authentication Technology?

With the use of AI and machine learning, face authentication can be utilized with reliability and high safety standards where integration of algorithms and computing allows the process to be completed in real-time, further reducing any potential risks.

Facial authentication offers several benefits to their users, beginning with a very fast process. Facial recognition usually takes only a brief time and this speeds up the access process. This fast process allows for a unique and smooth user experience, where simply looking at a device is enough. Security is another benefit, as like fingerprints and voice, each face is unique. Facial recognition systems, especially with the assistance of AI, can compare facial biometrics very quickly. Compliance is another benefit, as face authentication through video identification is commonly the only method recognized as an industry standard for remote identity verification during high risk financial operations.

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