Face to represent facial recognition

A few weeks back, we decided to dedicate a portion of our weekly team meeting to discussing an interesting news story, bouncing it round the virtual room to see what our take on it is. 

Our most recent discussion focused on a BBC story about how facial recognition is starting to be used as a payment method by startups.

A third of our team members said that they had been able to use FaceID – Apple’s facial recognition system – to unlock their siblings’ phones, which seemed quite astounding. With such a seemingly large margin for error, can facial recognition technology really be trusted to authorise financial transactions? 

We decided to look into what might have been causing this misidentification and came across an article which explained that the errors observed by our team were in fact a product of ‘retraining’ by the phone’s software when used in conjunction with passcodes. Perhaps we had been a little too quick to judge, and therefore fear, widespread use of facial recognition technology.

The startup behind the technology being used as an example of payment in the BBC story claims that their system is more secure than a password – but converting this into user trust could be a challenge. It is well-documented that trust in technology is on the decline; herein lies a significant problem for tech companies. 

The true potential of today’s technological advances can only be realised if society is able to collectively place its trust in the opportunities on offer.

Once our team understood what was really going on with FaceID, there was a shift in attitude towards other potential uses in day-to-day life. 

This is why tech companies need to truly understand what their audiences think and feel about new technologies. Only then can they effectively educate through their communications. With education comes knowledge, and with knowledge comes trust.

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