AI firm tricks face recognition at airport


Researchers with artificial-intelligence firm Kneron said they fooled facial-recognition software at an airport and mobile-payment kiosks using a printed mask.

Kneron did experiments at different sites.t a terminal in Schiphol Airport in the Netherlands, the technology was tricked using only a photo on a phone screen. Rail stations in China were also breached in a similar way. The idea that a simple photograph on a phone can trick sensors at an airport is most troubling, noted the report.

In Asia, the company used high-caliber 3D masks in an attempt to deceive payment systems like Alipay and WeChat. The testing team also was able to secure transportation hubs using a photo of a face on a phone screen.

“This shows the threat to the privacy of users with sub-par facial recognition that is masquerading as AI,” Kneron’s CEO Albert Liu told Fortune. “The technology is available to fix these issues, but firms have not upgraded it. They are taking shortcuts at the expense of security.”

 Some facial-recognition software proved impervious to the printed-mask test, however. The researchers said Apple's Face ID and Huawei's system passed; both use more sophisticated technology known as structured light imaging. Kneron said its own facial recognition software also passes the test.

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