On 19 October 2015, Amazon filed a patent application for a
process that would allow its customers to authenticate purchases
with a selfie-photograph rather than a password. The application
(Pub. No.:US 2016/0071111 A1) concerns a
computer-implemented payment method using selfies in a two-step
authentication: In the first step, buyers send a selfie to
establish their identity. In the second step, they send another
photo or video in which they blink, nod or open or close their
mouth to confirm that an actual human being is attempting to be
The invention is designed to ease the process of verifying
transactions as consumers make more purchases online and via mobile
devices. The process is also thought to be more secure than
entering a password.
The patent application publication claims that as people are
utilizing computing devices for an increasing variety of tasks,
there was a corresponding need to improve the security available
for these tasks. While many conventional approaches for user
authentication relied on passwords, these passwords could be stolen
or discovered by third persons.
Further, passwords were inconvenient since the entry of these
passwords on portable devices was not user friendly in many cases.
Among other things, typing on small touchscreens or keyboards could
"require the user to turn away from friends or co-workers when
entering a password, which can be awkward or embarrassing in many
It will take some time before this technology might be
implemented on Amazon's website. In all likelihood, third
persons will also attempt to bypass this security mechanism. Thus,
it remains to be seen, whether the level of security can and will
de facto be increased. But when it's ready, "pay
by selfie" could mean a big change to how we shop online and
use the camera on our phones. When you see someone taking a selfie,
they might not being preserving a moment, but making a
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On 8 September 2016 (C-160/15), the CJEU ruled that the posting of a hyperlink to copyright-protected works located on another website does not constitute copyright infringement when the link poster does not seek financial gain.
The chapter on the UK summarises the IP court and litigation system in the UK, recent developments in relation to IP law and practice, the forms and availability of IP protection and trends and outlook in the IP sphere.
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