Using Face Verification & Recognition in Establishing Individual Identity

There are many ways to establish an individual’s identity digitally such as verifying their signature or a document or a password. Yet, none of them can be as confirming as face verification, where your physical face is verified against an ID document such as passport or driver’s license. Facial verification and recognition have become commonplace in many sectors ranging from government services to private employment and banking etc. Simply put, any good digital biometric verification would have to include facial recognition and verification to establish individual identity.

Differences between Face Verification and Recognition

Facial recognition and verification are often used interchangeably, and they are treated as the same. In reality, however, the purpose and process of both are quite different.

Face verification is usually a one time process that involves verifying your real face with a document. Imagine logging into an application or applying for a credit card from the comforts of your home, and being asked to verify your identity digitally. This comes with various advantages like

  • Establishing that you are the bonafide holder of your ID document, and not a fraudster simply trying to mimic someone else.
  • Providing a more secure way of identification when compared to more traditional ways such as using passwords that can often be used in multiple applications and can be forgotten.
  • Being the only biometrically possible way to authenticate with certain ID documents like passport or driver’s license that don’t have your fingerprint or irises.

Facial recognition, on the other hand, can be used to verify a person’s identity by recording a selfie or video of a person and comparing it with a pre-existing image, from a private or government database. Facial recognition is a multi-step process that involves detecting a human face, analyzing the facial image in real time using machine learning or similar technologies, converting the image to data and then finally making a match against existing data in a government or private database.

However, like any system it’s prone to scammers who can present an artificial representation of face and perform spoofing attacks.
 Face-based biometric verification systems use techniques such as liveness detection and emotion recognition to authenticate an individual in real time.

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