‘Winking’ Could Be The Future of Online Purchase Authentication


Amazon earlier this month filed a patent application to enhance security when making online purchases by using a selfie and a wink.

The patent application filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is for an “Image Analysis for User Authentication.”

The system would use face pics for identification and a nod, wink or another requested movement to verify the customer and finalize the purchase, according to the patent application reported by the New York Daily News.


Bye Bye Passwords

The facial recognition technology authenticates the customer without passwords, which can be stolen, and aid in defeating identity theft.

“We’re very excited to see biometrics and increased payment security getting such attention and welcome developments to the technology that this announcement may bring to help our members stay safe while shopping online,” Brian Ziff-Levine, director of cards and payments at First Tech Federal Credit Union told E-Commerce Times.


How to Use It

The system would work this way: An Amazon customer has his or her picture on file with Amazon, and the system would verify the picture when the customer makes a purchase. To complete the sale and prevent thieves from holding up a picture of the customer, the system would require the buyer to wink or make some other movement to verify the customer’s identity and complete the purchase.

Amazon customers could access the facial recognition technology with a number of electronic devices, including notebook computers, portable media players, smartphones, tablets, and gaming devices, according to E-Commerce Times.

Amazon wink patent


Others Who Have Filed to Patent Facial Recognition Technology

Amazon is not the first company interested in facial recognition technology.

For example, this summer MasterCard will launch an Identity Check system to U.S. banks and banks in Canada, parts of Europe and the United Kingdom, E-Commerce Times reported. And last year, Apple received a patent for a facial recognition feature, reported BioMetric Update.com.

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