Facebook to up security with photo captcha test

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Although sometimes indecipherable and often frustrating, captcha tests are used to verify whether a user is human or a machine. It acts as an additional security measure to help prevent access from unauthorised parties.

Social media giant Facebook has recently enhanced their account verification process on mobile devices during recent tests. In a crackdown on suspicious activity on the platform, Facebook has been prompting some users to upload a photo of their face to verify their identity and prove they are a real person. According to the message shown to users included in the test, Facebook will check the image and ‘permanently delete it from [its] servers’.

Few details have been released about the image verification process, which is a move Facebook has taken to prevent the system from being manipulated. However, what we do know is that Facebook will check the photo to determine whether it is unique, as well as focusing on other areas of suspicious activity. For example, this could include the location where updates are posted from.

Speaking of the development, one Facebook spokesperson said that the new verification process would “help us catch suspicious activity at various points of interaction on the site, including creating an account, sending Friend requests, setting up ads payments, and creating or editing ads”.

Rumours are circulating that users are locked out of their Facebook account while the image is verified, although these reports are unconfirmed. It’s also not known how long these trials have been taking place, although if Reddit posts are to be believed it would suggest since spring 2017.

This development from Facebook is the latest iteration of facial recognition technology we have seen, following the launch of Apple Face ID on the iPhone X. As an increasing number of the world’s leading companies experiment with this type of recognition technology, we can expect to see its inclusion increase in the coming months and years.

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