Whose face is it anyway: Can your look-alike pretend to be you?

Twins have fascinated us for generations. Historically, they have been used to represent an unseen bond that is almost mystical in nature. And whilst it is said that getting a glimpse of our doppelganger or look-alike is bad luck, this doesn’t stop us from going online to see if we’re our favourite celebrity’s match. If you’re a fan of Keanu Reeves, you may have seen that he’s found his look-alike this month – just in time for National Look Alike Day.

The idea of having a look-alike, someone like you but not, can be exciting. But it does raise questions over the security of biometric systems. Take identical twins, for example. They come from the same fertilized egg and share the same DNA. A logical conclusion to make, would be that they can therefore spoof each other’s biometric authentication systems. And yes, when it comes to facial recognition, identical twins can fool the system.

But as similar as may be, they’re still unique.

According to forensic experts, identical twins don’t share identical fingerprints and while they may have similarities in patterns, they differ in the minutia.

Experience is the differentiator. We work with our hands every day. They get dry, cut, and scarred – every year adds another unique characteristic to our fingerprints. Even if twins lived on the other side of the world, or in a different dimension, they wouldn’t have had the same experiences. They wouldn’t have that added layer of uniqueness that comes from daily life.

Fingerprint authentication is hard to spoof and is more mature than facial recognition – you can’t just track someone down who looks almost identical and play a game of ‘who’s face is the right face?’

But like anything, it’s stronger when not used in isolation. Behavioural biometrics – which track unique patterns of behaviour such as the way a phone is held, time of day an app is accessed, and geolocation – are the final frontier in security. You may have a look-alike out there, but you won’t have the same prints and you won’t ‘behave’ in the same way. Even amongst twins, differing conduct and lifestyles will set them apart very distinctly when applying innovative behavioural intelligence.

While you may have fun fooling people offline with your identical looks, look-alikes cannot pretend to be you on digital channels. By creating a digital identity – through a multi factor approach leveraging a combination of biometrics – you can keep yourself both unique, and secure online.

To find out more how VeridiumID can support you moving forward, please contact us at [email protected].

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