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    Wednesday, June 19, 2024

    Will Face Mapping Still Recognise You If Your Features Change?

    The study found that 99 percent of facial recognition images could still be recognised up to six years later.

    Murray Collyer, COO of iiDENTIFii

    When it comes to proving your identity online, face ID – also known as face biometrics – is fast becoming one of the most reliable methods of authentication. Why? Because your unique facial features are the most reliable indicator of what makes you, you. When used in conjunction with ‘liveness’ technology, a process that proves that a person is real and using their face to log in at that moment in time, this technology offers powerful protection against potential fraudsters and cyber criminals. But what happens when our appearance changes with age, or we get a rhinoplasty or lip fillers? Could changes to our face make our own face ID tools lock us out?

    Appearance changes and face recognition

    The good news is that the natural process of aging doesn’t have a significant effect on face identification – to a point. In 2017, Michigan State University (apo-opa.co/3RxvGgK) investigated the extent that facial aging affects the performance of facial recognition systems. The study found that 99 percent of facial recognition images could still be recognised up to six years later. However, the face does change naturally over time, and the accuracy began to drop when images of a person were taken more than six years apart. This, of course, varies from person to person.

    Murray Collyer, COO of iiDENTFii, an award-winning remote biometric identification platform, says: “Our technology asks users to take a selfie from a specific angle. This confirms that a real, live person is trying to log into the account and that a fraudster is not using a photo of your face to try log in. We confirm the person’s identity by cross-referencing it with existing official identity records, such as a person’s government-issued ID. This means that, even if your face changes as you age, you will still be successfully identified if your official ID documents are reasonably up to date.” As the research above explains, ‘reasonable’ is usually within the past six years.

    However, when it comes to plastic surgery, there are some procedures that might confuse face ID tools. Procedures (apo-opa.co/45weldQ) that change the volume of tissue in the face, such as cheek implants, lip fillers or buccal fat reduction, may change your appearance enough for you to not be recognisable to your face ID on record. Tissue-lifting procedures such as eyelid surgery or a brow lift may also affect facial recognition.

    As many algorithms process face recognition by mapping the central face, any procedures done to the central face are most likely to stymy the system. Cosmetic surgery that impacts the side view of the face, such as botox, neck lifts or lower facelifts are less likely to affect facial recognition systems.

    Collyer adds, “It’s also important to remember that, when a person has plastic surgery to improve their appearance, they may look different to the human eye but not to a facial recognition tool. This is because the ratios for facial recognition are not the same ratios that the human eye aspires to when seeking out cosmetic procedures.”

    In the case of iiDENTIFii, customer's facial data transforms into a biometric hash, an encrypted set of ones and zeros stored securely in a biometric vault. This encrypted data, also referred to as a "reference template”, serves as the benchmark for verifying the returning user's face against the initial onboarding image.

    “This process only occurs once, at the time of your first enrolment. After that our process, if required, will adapt as you age. The ‘Genesis Selfie’ can be done as often as you like - for example, on Day 1, your selfie is compared to an 8 year old ID image, while on Day 3, it is compared to a 3-day old selfie. Your selfie can be updated each time you do it to be the most accurate. In that way, our system ages with you.”

    When it comes to proving your identity online, face ID – also known as face biometrics – is fast becoming one of the most reliable methods of authentication. Why? Because your unique facial features are the most reliable indicator of what makes you, you. When used in conjunction with ‘liveness’ technology, a process that proves that a person is real and using their face to log in at that moment in time, this technology offers powerful protection against potential fraudsters and cyber criminals. But what happens when our appearance changes with age, or we get a rhinoplasty or lip fillers? Could changes to our face make our own face ID tools lock us out?

    Appearance changes and face recognition

    The good news is that the natural process of aging doesn’t have a significant effect on face identification – to a point. In 2017, Michigan State University (apo-opa.co/3RxvGgK) investigated the extent that facial aging affects the performance of facial recognition systems. The study found that 99 percent of facial recognition images could still be recognised up to six years later. However, the face does change naturally over time, and the accuracy began to drop when images of a person were taken more than six years apart. This, of course, varies from person to person.

    Murray Collyer, COO of iiDENTFii, an award-winning remote biometric identification platform, says: “Our technology asks users to take a selfie from a specific angle. This confirms that a real, live person is trying to log into the account and that a fraudster is not using a photo of your face to try log in. We confirm the person’s identity by cross-referencing it with existing official identity records, such as a person’s government-issued ID. This means that, even if your face changes as you age, you will still be successfully identified if your official ID documents are reasonably up to date.” As the research above explains, ‘reasonable’ is usually within the past six years.

    However, when it comes to plastic surgery, there are some procedures that might confuse face ID tools. Procedures (apo-opa.co/45weldQ) that change the volume of tissue in the face, such as cheek implants, lip fillers or buccal fat reduction, may change your appearance enough for you to not be recognisable to your face ID on record. Tissue-lifting procedures such as eyelid surgery or a brow lift may also affect facial recognition.

    As many algorithms process face recognition by mapping the central face, any procedures done to the central face are most likely to stymy the system. Cosmetic surgery that impacts the side view of the face, such as botox, neck lifts or lower facelifts are less likely to affect facial recognition systems.

    Collyer adds, “It’s also important to remember that, when a person has plastic surgery to improve their appearance, they may look different to the human eye but not to a facial recognition tool. This is because the ratios for facial recognition are not the same ratios that the human eye aspires to when seeking out cosmetic procedures.”

    In the case of iiDENTIFii, customer's facial data transforms into a biometric hash, an encrypted set of ones and zeros stored securely in a biometric vault. This encrypted data, also referred to as a "reference template”, serves as the benchmark for verifying the returning user's face against the initial onboarding image.

    “This process only occurs once, at the time of your first enrolment. After that our process, if required, will adapt as you age. The ‘Genesis Selfie’ can be done as often as you like - for example, on Day 1, your selfie is compared to an 8 year old ID image, while on Day 3, it is compared to a 3-day old selfie. Your selfie can be updated each time you do it to be the most accurate. In that way, our system ages with you.”

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