Amazon Introduces a New Facial Recognition System

Amazon Introduces a New Facial Recognition System

The biggest online shopping site Amazon has introduced a system that allows customers to authenticate their transactions with a Selfie. They have applied for a patent on this technology alleging that it is a more sure way of dealing with stolen identity issues which have been on the rise. They say hacking into such a system will not be an easy job and hence, they hope it will discourage spammers. This means that in place of entering passwords, users will now be able to take photos and video selfies to allow them access to their accounts and make payments.

More about the System

The system is meant to ensure that the person logging into the account is the real owner and not criminals or children accessing their parents’ gadgets and making purchases. This came after realizing that the only threat was not from hackers. Cases of kids making online purchases of items that they would not buy at the stores because of age restrictions were on the rise. Parents were complaining and asking for a parental control system to be put in place. The management at Amazon, therefore, saw this as the best way to offer security and parental control at the same time.

This facial recognition system is expected to completely phase out passwords just like the way Apple introduced the thumbprint recognition for the iPhone in place of PIN codes. When taking the photos, uses are expected to include some extra facial features such as smiling, blinking or head tilting. This is with an aim of ensuring that it is a real person taking the photo and not an upload of a previously taken photo or a scan. Other companies that seem to be adopting a similar technology include MasterCard with its fingerprint and selfie recognition system for payments and Microsoft with the facial recognition feature in Windows 10.

For most people, breaking away from systems that they are used to is usually a problem, and this is one of the challenges being faced by Amazon. Very few buyers have expressed interest in this new system while most of them prefer to remain with the good old password system, claiming that they change their passwords frequently and hence not very susceptible to hackers. Amazon, however, disagrees with this but they are willing to give a reasonable timeline for their clients to conform and embrace this new technology.

Why Was It Introduced?

Facial Recognition System
Besides the security threats, the other reason they give for introducing the facial recognition system is the fact that users with small devices sometimes find it difficult to enter the correct password at the first attempt. This increases the cases of password reset requests and the company has been having a challenge of ascertaining the authenticity of the person initiating the request. When in public places users are also forced to hide their screens when entering passwords to be sure no one is peeping and the management at Amazon claims is an awkward behavior. Most people purport to solve this problem by having easy and repeated passwords which expose the buyer’s account and the company to scams. Some people even save passwords in their browsers and this leaves their accounts even more exposed. When making these claims, Amazon, however, forgot how awkward it can be making faces while taking a Selfie in a public place.


This system, which is still at the patent application stage, is a bit far from being brought to reality if it will ever come to be. This time, according to Amazon will be more than enough to educate its customers on the benefits of the facial recognition system as opposed to the password system. After the one click system of placing orders, this is expected to be the other biggest project to ever be implemented by Amazon with the safety of its customers in consideration. Almost a year ago, Amazon brought on board another payment system that allowed users to reorder products without going through the whole process. This technology which involved pushing dash buttons to buy common products was a way of saving buyer’s time and has been very useful to frequent shoppers. Once the facial recognition system is launched, it is expected that online security will be enhanced and other online payment sites will follow suit.

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