MasterCard's Selfie Passwords: 10 To Avoid - InformationWeek

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MasterCard's Selfie Passwords: 10 To Avoid

MasterCard wants to replace your password with the thing you love the most -- your own face.

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MasterCard is trying to make online purchases more secure, and it's decided the best way to do that is take advantage of society's current favorite narcissistic pastime, the selfie. The credit card company hopes that the process can replace codes that can be forgotten or stolen, and that your beautiful face cannot be copied so easily.

MasterCard said it's testing the system with 500 users. The process is fairly simple. You put a picture on file with MasterCard. When you make a purchase using a smartphone, MasterCard will ask you to take another selfie. You pose and give your best smile for the camera, and then send it to MasterCard, which uses facial recognition technology to compare it to the picture on file to see if you are really you.

I'd worry about facial recognition a bit, since Google's tagging system appears to have some big problems. But hey, if they can work the kinks out, the plan seems reasonable enough.

Still, there's a major issue. What picture do you use on file? That great one of you at the beach? The one when you flashed the perfect duck face for the camera? That candid shot of you at Disneyland? Tough decisions. I mean, this picture will be your identity forever. When you buy something, some computer is going to see it. AI is getting better every day. Some AI will be judging you.

With that in mind, we decided some advice was worthwhile on a few types of pictures to avoid. We present to you:

10 (Clean) Selfies To Never Use As A Password

1. Even if you are in space, a helmet is bad idea. By the way, if you think you are all cool with your selfies, remember Buzz Aldrin took this in 1966.

(Image: kelapstick via Wikipedia)

(Image: kelapstick via Wikipedia)

2. Religious figures will probably not work. Their halos will ruin the lighting.

(Image: kevinwgarrett via Flickr)

(Image: kevinwgarrett via Flickr)

3. Unless you make all your purchases under the water, or you credit card is with the Outer Banks, avoid underwater selfies.

(Image: George Grinsted via Flickr)

(Image: George Grinsted via Flickr)

4. Don't get artsy.

(Image: Hraq Vartanian via Flickr)

(Image: Hraq Vartanian via Flickr)

5. Avoid excessive makeup.

(Image: Rick Dikeman via Wikimedia Commons)

(Image: Rick Dikeman via Wikimedia Commons)

6. You can take the duck face trend too far. (Note: I'm not making fun of anyone. This was done with a photo effect.)

(Image: a-derelict-duck-88 via DeviantArt)

(Image: a-derelict-duck-88 via DeviantArt)

7. Think about your hair. Keep it out of your face for more accurate recognition.

(Image: Henric Silversno via Flickr)

(Image: Henric Silversno via Flickr)

8. Don't forget to look right at the camera.

(Image: Susan Nunziata)

(Image: Susan Nunziata)

9. When in doubt, have someone take the picture for you. But we wouldn't recommend an elephant.

(Image: wittylama via Wikipedia)

(Image: wittylama via Wikipedia)

10. Facial hair might be a problem. But always dress formally. With at least 10 ties.

(Image: Craig via Wikipedia)

(Image: Craig via Wikipedia)

We hope this helps you pick your selfie password. Share any pictures you might want to use, and also tell us in the comments section below what you think of using a selfie as a password.

David has been writing on business and technology for over 10 years and was most recently Managing Editor at Enterpriseefficiency.com. Before that he was an Assistant Editor at MIT Sloan Management Review, where he covered a wide range of business topics including IT, ... View Full Bio

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