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Editorial: Video recognition is the future of electronic signatures

Summary

ESRA chairman argues for video signatures’ growth and use

Newswire: Aug. 8, 2017.

Dateline: San Francisco.

The use of video authentication is on the rise, and should be encouraged further, said Dan Puterbaugh, the chairman of the Electronic Signature and Records Association, in an editorial published this week by VentureBeat.

“We can expect to see wider adoption in the next few years,” Puterbaugh writes, even if as presently implemented video authentication isn’t yet practical for day-to-day transactions. Still, in the age of the “selfie,” where holding a mobile device up to capture one’s face is a second-nature activity, video authentication is sure to catch on.

One inhibitor to acceptance is the quality of the camera involved. Puterbaugh notes that criticism of facial-recognition software — and its failures in some high profile news events — fails to account for the quality of the image or the device recognizing it. Indeed, Windows 10 offers video password authentication, but only for users with the right type of camera on their computer.

Yet USAA, the 28th largest bank in the world, has already rolled out video authentication, to a universally positive response. More than a a million USAA customers signed up for the video signature app within its first 10 months of launch.

Puterbaugh notes that future iterations of video identity authentication may involve facial expressions, vocal quality, and other measurements to confirm a subjet’s identity. Presently, the lag time associated with verifying such measurements is too long for users’ comfort.

The bottom line, argues Puterbaugh, is that for a truly dedicated miscreant, fingerprints, retinal scans and other biometric data are still forgeable, or capable of being stolen. A live picture, with voice, of the person logging in is much harder to steal or falsify.

“Video identity authentication is a relatively lightweight process for users that provides a high level of security for organizations trying to secure the most sensitive types of data,” he says.

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