Pay-by-selfie? Amazon wants to patent the facial recognition technology

Lynsey Barber
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Two selfies would safely identify identity, Amazon claims (Source: Getty)

Soon you could be paying for cheese - and the bill for anything else - by saying cheese for a selfie, with a number of firms working on replacements for pins and passwords.

Major companies such as Mastercard, HSBC as well as startups are playing around with technology that uses facial recognition for security. Now Amazon has filed a patent for technology that includes verifying identity via taking pictures of yourself to make a purchase.

The tech giant claims using two images makes it more secure.

"(Facing recognition) can often be spoofed by holding a picture of the user in front of the camera, as the resulting two-dimensional image can look substantially the same whether taken of the user or a picture of the user," Amazon said in a filing with the US patent office.

It has also pointed out the problem with passwords, particularly on smartphones (that'll be small screen, fat thumbs).

"The entry of these passwords on portable devices is not user friendly in many cases, as the small touchscreen or keyboard elements can be difficult to accurately select using a relatively large human finger. In order to avoid typing in long passwords in such situations, users often have their passwords stored on their devices or enable information to be stored elsewhere such that an activity can be performed without manually re-entering the password."

Say cheese!