Meta, formerly known as Facebook, is seeking to patent a system that uses voiceprints for user identification and authentication on social media networks. A voiceprint is a unique representation of a user’s voice that Meta would collect and compare to authenticate users. It could be used as part of a two-factor authentication system alongside passwords or other biometric scans, providing added security.
However, Meta’s intentions go beyond authentication. They mentioned using voiceprints to deliver customized content to identified users. For example, if their system detects users speaking, it may display targeted ads or content based on their interests on platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
Users would have the option to opt in or out of this feature through privacy settings. They can also specify the purposes for which their voiceprints can be used and prevent sharing them with third-party systems.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen companies interested in voice biometrics for authentication purposes. PayPal is also seeking patents related to AI-based voice authentication for customer service calls.
Voice biometrics have gained popularity as an alternative to password-based security measures. It offers convenience by allowing companies to meet customers where they are without relying solely on traditional passwords. However, like any cybersecurity method, it has its limitations.
One concern is the ability of AI technology to impersonate voices, which could potentially undermine the security provided by voice authentication. To address this, multi-factor authentication coupled with monitoring for risk signals such as device type and location can enhance security measures and mitigate cyberattacks.
Implementing secure data management protocols is crucial when deploying any form of biometric authentication responsibly. Privacy experts have raised concerns about Meta’s track record regarding data handling practices in the past, given its previous fines and legal settlements related to privacy violations.