You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Alibaba's plan to make payments with face-scanning technology is a horrifying idea

The Verge logo The Verge 16/03/2015 Chris Plante
Alibaba founder Jack Ma explains his facial recognition payment idea. © The Verge Alibaba founder Jack Ma explains his facial recognition payment idea.

At this week's CeBIT conference in Hanover, Germany, Alibaba founder Jack Ma finished his speech by presenting a prototype of one of the company's new ideas: a payment system that uses facial recognition for its security. According to Recode, Ma would like the project available to the public by 2017.

This is a great idea, if you plan to buy 500 pounds of green Jell-O with Polygon co-founder and podcast superstar Justin McElroy's checking account. You'd simply print this mask I found from a quick Google research, wear it on your face, and commit theft.

Justin McElroy © The Verge Justin McElroy

Surely, Alibaba's facial technology won't be fooled by Halloween masks, but how it will know the difference between a human and a high-resolution image remains a huge question. It's certainly not outside the realm of possibility. Other companies, including Google, have been trying to solve this problem for some time.

More From The Verge

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon