Forget the Plastic, MasterCard Wants You To Pay By Facial Recognition

S.m. Gibson | ANTIMEDIA

Are you prepared to pay for your take-out order by having your face scanned?

Don’t you hate trying to purchase a last minute gift on Amazon for your 2nd cousin’s kid? You don’t have a clue what to buy in the first place and when you finally settle on some toy you’ve never heard of, you inevitably can’t locate your credit card. Ugh! The last place you remember having it was definitely in your wallet—no, wait, you got it out to order that pizza. It’s not on the table either.

Your mind starts racing and you start throwing couch cushions. Minutes seem like hours. Finally, as the screams between you and your spouse echo through your home, your eye finally spies the elusive piece of plastic. Whew! It was under the chair. What did you need it for again? You can’t remember, but you don’t care. Relief washes over your body. You go back to watching Netflix and forget all about buying the toy. Family members eventually grow offended and you are hassled for your insensitivity. It’s a nightmare.

But worry not! MasterCard  just unveiled new technology to prevent this horrendous scenario from ever happening to you again. The only cost will be your privacy.

Forget the creepy notion of having your fingerprints stored in a database to make purchases in the future. In the fall, MasterCard is rolling out a new system that will allow you to make online purchases using your only your face. Look into your webcam or smartphone, blink your eyes, and boom! You just bought the 3rd season of How I Met Your Mother on DVD. And you did it, literally, in the blink of an eye.

The new generation, which is into selfies … I think they’ll find it cool. They’ll embrace it,” said Ajay Bhalla, MasterCard’s President of Enterprise Safety and Security.

The credit card company believes that this new technology will assist in cutting down on fraud.

Initially, only 500 customers will take part in the pilot program, but once all of the wrinkles are ironed out, MasterCard plans to launch the program publicly.

Major corporations like Apple, Samsung, Google, Microsoft and BlackBerry are reportedly already on board, as are two major banks.

Along with the pay-by-face option, customers will be able to make purchases with their fingerprint if they choose to do so.

Cyber security experts—or anyone who values their privacy—are more than apprehensive about this new technology.

“I understand why they’d want that data, but no, I do not like it,” said Robert M. Lee, co-founder of consulting firm Dragos Security. “From a privacy aspect it’s awful — but from a business perspective, I don’t understand why they’d accept that risk.”

It is unlikely that even George Orwell could have envisioned such an insane proposition. We, as a human race, should start clinging to the shred of privacy we have left—it could literally be gone in the blink of an eye.


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