What is Liveness Detection?

Liveness detection is a technology that helps a system to verify that the biometric data it’s comparing to an authenticated user is actually live (from a live human present at the time of capture) rather than fake or lifeless (like a resin 3D printed mask). Liveness detection is used in a variety of different biometric systems, including facial recognition, voice recognition, and fingerprint scanning. Traditionally, the verification process has consisted of an active mode where the user was required to do something specific for each login, such as blinking, smiling, or turning their head, to trigger the verification process.

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Usually, the user would be asked to perform these actions in front of a camera, and the resulting image or video would be compared to the authenticated template stored on the system. This type of authentication can be very disruptive to the end user experience, as it can often lead to long login times and inconvenient security requirements.

Passive liveness detection offers a much more seamless and user-friendly way to provide liveness verification. With this method, a camera that’s built into the phone or tablet captures images of the user at regular intervals. The images are then analyzed by an algorithm to determine whether or not the face is live, and the result can be compared to the authenticated user template. This kind of passive liveness verification is less prone to attack by bad actors who could try to trick the system by trying to use a silicone mask or 3D photo to spoof the system, and it’s also harder for hackers to reverse engineer a system that doesn’t alert users when they are being verified.

Choosing the right biometric authentication modalities is essential for providing a great customer experience. But it’s also critical to protect your customers from the advanced fraudsters that are targeting them with biometric spoofing attacks. With the growth of deep-fakes, bots, and other sophisticated spoofing attacks, certified liveness detection is becoming a necessity in any modern digital identity verification solution. Adding both passive and active liveness detection to your biometric authentication solutions will help keep fraudsters at bay and offer a superior user experience.

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