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Buy Online with Your Face
By: Jessica Cherok
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Your selfie habit may now allow you to make purchases online. MasterCard has begun testing a new smartphone app that will allow purchasing via facial recognition technology.

While some maybe leery of such tech, MasterCard believes it will appeal to the younger generation. According to their security expert, Ajay Bhalla, kids these days will likely find the feature "cool."

Cool or not, there are still limitations. MasterCard says the selfie is only one part of several security layers. The app also requires the user to blink in order to prove it isn't a photo. In addition, there are other biometric indicators in order to limit fraud.

MasterCard isn't the only company looking at facial recognition for purchasing. Chinese retail giant Alibaba has also been exploring the technology, but has not yet implemented it as part of its services.

Still, many worry that this type of facial recognition would be too impractical. One security researcher pointed out that passwords and PINs are easily revoked, whereas faces would be far more cumbersome. "What happens if your facial recognition data gets stolen? You can't change your face."

Still, it doesn't appear that selfies are going anywhere. If anything, they're becoming more ingrained in our everyday life.

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About the Author
Jessica Cherok is an advocate for online privacy, campaigning for ethical data practices and the protection of personal privacy.
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