A 3D mask or even a photograph of a face is enough to fool some facial recognition technology. A team of researchers from an Artificial Intelligence company tried to deceive the systems used at airports and payment systems, using 3D masks but the results turned out to be very different from what they expected.

The test using 3D mask

This unique test was conducted by an AI company called Kneron. It involved visiting public places and tricking facial recognition terminals into allowing payment or access. The team found that the face recognition systems used during shopping and before boarding can be manipulated by using 3D masks and pictures.

But the team noticed that there is a system which cannot be fooled with such tricks and it is called Face ID, reported Fortune.

What is Face recognition technology?

It is a category of biometric software which calculates an individual's facial features mathematically and store the data as a faceprint. The use of such technologies are common in Asia and it doesn't require a PIN code or fingerprint to identify the person.

This system works by capturing data for nodal points on a digital image of a human face and storing the resulting data as a faceprint, which is then used as a basis for comparison with data captured from faces in an image or video.

The result of the test

Facial Recognition
Facial Recognition technology in use. Baidu

The researchers noted that since the facial recognition technology does not require a PIN code or fingerprint to identify the person, it can be manipulated by using a mask similar to the person's face. According to the experts, in terms of airport security systems, just a photo will be enough to get the work done.

After conducting the test at one of the largest airports in the Netherlands, Schiphol Airport, the research team was shocked to see the results. The Kneron team tried to check how strong the face recognition system was with just one photo. Using this method, the team stated that it got success to deceive the facial recognition systems in China's railway stations.

3D mask could not fool all the systems

Researchers noted that the smartphone users, who are regularly using Face ID as a fingerprint to unlock their devices, are out of the risk of facing any manipulation as the 3D mask failed to overcome the firewall provided by Face ID. However, as per Apple, they will ask the iPhone users to make certain facial expressions and with this solution, the firewall of Face ID is predicted to be insurmountable.