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iPhone 8: Remembering the face, if not the name

Posted on by Mike Evans

I just got used to using my thumb print to unlock my deepest secrets when Apple seems to be dropping the technology. Why? It is said that the home button on the iPhone 8 will be incorporated into the screen and that the technology doesn't so far work with fingerprint ID. Instead, it seems, we will get facial recognition. I remain to be convinced that it will work as effectively as my firmly placed thumb I am racked with trepidation. I know a lot about facial recognition. 

Actually, it is an age-old science that has gone out of use of late. When I started my working life as a humble bank clerk we had no computers or mechanical aids to calculation. But one talent we did have by the spadeful was facial recognition. I instantly recognised any one of the several hundred customers of our particular branch. Cheques were cashed purely on face recognition, aided of course by a photographic memory for signatures which, I am sure, has also gone by the wayside. Even a recognised voice over the telephone was sufficient to move funds.

Sadly modern human -- especially modern bank clerk -- has entirely lost this useful ability to recognise faces. Mind you, I shouldn't complain too much. I still have an impressive recognition ability; it's just that nowadays I can't put a name to the faces. I think I need a bit of technology.

Now would you hand over cash to this dubious character purely on sight? Or would you demand a PIN, memorable place and a medley from gY7xc(!67mgklG%?

Now would you hand over cash to this dubious character purely on sight? Or would you demand a PIN, memorable place and a medley from gY7xc(!67mgklG%?

Today, however, even The Queen or the Prime Minister or the Bundeskanzler would have to produce their respective Visa debit cards and trot out a PIN before getting past the bank's gatekeeper. Heaven help the three of them if they forgot their Internet Banking Code or their Memorable Place (Leipzig? Balmoral? Maidenhead?). Or, let it be said, characters 2, 5 and 9 of gY7xc(!67mgklG%. That's the one that always gets me and I can't help feeling there must be a better way to build a fraud trap.

So it's welcome news that faces are again coming back into vogue. Let Apple and other tech companies pave the way with their spiffy software to unlock their smartphones. But wouldn't it be nice if your bank manager again took the trouble to remember who you are?

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