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Apple buys Israeli biomentrics start-up

By Kate Bevan, Sophos

February 21, 2017

Apple has acquired Israeli facial recognition company Realface for an undisclosed sum, the Times of Israel has reported. Realface, founded in 2014, uses its facial recognition technology as the basis for a biometric authentication platform, sparking speculation that Apple could add that as a way of authenticating users on its devices.

Apple wouldn’t be the first to use facial recognition to log in: some Windows PCs and the most recent flagship Lumia-branded Windows Phone devices from Microsoft used iris recognition, although I found that hit and miss when I reviewed the Lumia 950XL just over a year ago.

Biometric authentication on devices is a hot topic for discussion at the moment, with concerns rising that while in the US you can’t be required to hand over a password, you can be required to unlock a device using your fingerprint. Whether that will apply to facial recognition too is an interesting question.

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