Are You Using the Right Facial Recognition Technology?


Today, people around the world use facial recognition technology the moment they wake up, grab their smartphone, and unlock it as a camera looks at their face. Despite the widespread use of facial recognition software, most people don’t fully understand how face scanning technology works and how biometric facial recognition can be used for business.

Companies now use identity verification software more than ever for a variety of applications, whether it’s time and attendance, security, and access control. While facial recognition technology traditionally has been linked with the security sector, it’s recently expanded into many other industries, including healthcare, marketing, and retail.


Whether you’re already using facial recognition software or another type of identity verification software, you need to make sure you’re using the best and most up-to-date identity solutions for your business needs. Here’s a closer look at facial recognition technology, what it should be doing for your business, and what you should do if your current software is out of date.


What is Facial Recognition Software?

Although it hasn’t been until the last decade that significant progress was made in facial recognition, it’s actually been around for some time. Facial recognition technology involves a multi-step process:


  • Detection and Tracking – First, a face scanner detects and tracks a face, ensuring that there’s an actual face being presented. This phase also involves certain features, expressions, and parts of a face that will be needed.
  • Face Alignment – This step considers where the facial image is, where the face lines are, and the contours of facial features appear.
  • Feature Extraction – The feature extraction step is the recognition stage where individual features of a face like the lips, eyes, chin, and nose are extracted so they can be used by algorithms for the next step. At this point, there’s enough data to tell a face apart from other faces.
  • Matching Features – Now, the data collected in the feature extraction step are matched against a database to determine an individual’s identity. It’s called the classification stage.

Facial recognition software refers to an application used to automatically identify and/or verify individuals from digital images or video frames. The software uses algorithms that analyze unique facial features captured through a face scanner to determine the individual’s identity.


Today, facial recognition software is being implemented in various ways. Simply look at Facebook – one of the most common examples of facial recognition technology in use. Upload a photo to Facebook and the social network can detect faces and even tag people on its own. Some retailers are using facial recognition to detect previous shoplifting offenders that enter their stores. Many financial apps use facial recognition checks to prevent fraud, as well.


What Your Facial Recognition Software Should Do for Your Business

While facial recognition technology traces back to around 2001 when the first serious algorithmic work in facial detect was published, it’s come a long way through the years, with the most significant progress made in the past decade. Companies offering facial recognition software continue paying increased attention to the accuracy and quality of this technology to minimize security and misidentification breaches. So, what should your facial recognition software be doing for your business? Here are a few things you should expect:


Passive Liveness

With new 3D technology systems, new facial hair, partial face obstructions, and glasses are less likely to prevent identifications or result in inaccurate identifications. False rejections are failing and accuracy continues to improve, but many software solutions can still be spoofed – a documented weakness of nearly all biometrics. Enter liveness detection.


What is liveness detection? It’s a security feature your software should have that ensures biological identifiers are from the right user and not someone else. Traditionally this included lip or eye movement analysis, reflecting or texture detection, or prompted motion instructions. Today we have two different approaches for liveness detection: Passive and active.


Passive liveness detection is brand new to the market, and it’s definitely something you want in your facial recognition software solution. Passive liveness detection involves the use of internal algorithms that detect spoofs – nothing is required by the user.


Active liveness detection involves a user performing some type of action, such as keystroking, making facial movements, or blinking and requires video of the user’s face in order to prove their identity. Active liveness is an older form of facial recognition technology that’s quickly becoming dated, yet is still widely used.


For example, if you log into a financial app that uses facial recognition, if it uses active liveness detection, users may be required to blink as it scans the face. However, passive liveness detection may be scanning the face of the user to ensure that a real human face is being presented with the correct depth contours of the individual. Although active approaches are still in use, they aren’t as convenient and they reduce the speed of biometric identification.



The use of facial recognition software requires you to have the ability to store that biometric data used to identify individuals. Today, large amounts of data can easily be stored digitally, but while digital data is convenient, one of the biggest problems that affects digital data – including biometric identification data – is duplication.


The deduplication process works to eliminate redundant copies of biometric data. On the one hand, this helps to reduce the overhead of information storage, optimizing storage capacity. However, the bigger goal of biometric deduplication is to eliminate duplicates due to its criticality in authentication and identification. The process of finding and eliminating duplicate biometric records within a collection of biometric data is known as biometric deduplication. It's essential to have deduplication as a part of your facial recognition software, ensuring that only one unique piece of facial information is stored within the system.


Why does duplication even happen? Sometimes backup, editing, migration, or transfer of biometric data may result in duplication. Enrollment errors can occur that result in duplication, as well. With duplications left among your biometric data, it can result in errors, system inefficiency and a lack of reliability in your identification. If duplicates are among stored data, the system must work longer to index and compare those records because it’s going through duplicates, too. Duplicates also consume more storage, taking a big toll on the system cost and resources.


Dual Factor Identification with Biometric Facial Scan

Many different applications today require two forms of identification. For example, a website may require both an email and password to identify a user. Then, to authenticate your login, authentication codes may be sent to your phone or email to ensure it’s you accessing that account. While these forms of identification are commonly used, they’re not very secure.


Dual factor identification with biometric capabilities offers a newer and more secure identification process. One new solution being used to control access points at high-security facilities, such as government buildings and airports, is the combination of keycards plus selfie/facial biometric capabilities. As you’re considering facial recognition software for your business, look for options that use biometric facial scans along with another method of identification so you reap the security benefits of dual factor identification.


Is Your Facial Recognition Software Out of Date?

If you’re already using facial recognition technology, there’s one big question you need to ask yourself: Is your facial recognition software out of date? While facial recognition offers many benefits for business, if your technology is out of date you’re opening yourself up to security risks and additional problems.


Facial recognition technology has come a long way within the past few years, particularly with the emergence of passive liveness detection and software options that now offer deduplication features to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of your software solution. If you’re still using software from five or ten years ago, you’re not getting the most from this technology, no matter what application you’re using it for.


Nearly any type of business these days can benefit from facial recognition technology, whether you’re a tech startup, a retail business, or a large business with thousands of employees across the country. Facial recognition is already used so much in daily life, such as on our mobile phones, it’s a form of biometrics that most people aren’t resistant to. After all, it’s much easier to present your face to a camera for a scan than it is to give your fingerprint or even go through an iris or retina scan.


If your current facial recognition software is out of date, or you’re considering the implementation of facial recognition technology within your business, we’re here to help you find the best, cutting-edge solution for your needs. At IDmission, we orchestrate digital transformations for companies that rely heavily on identity and ID verifications, creating secure solutions that won’t get in the way of you doing business.

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