Your Face Is Good Enough

By eweek  |  Posted 2001-04-16

Face it, authentication and security are degrading. They degrade system performance and the user. Friends, on the other hand, recognize your face and just let you in.

Thinking it should be the same with computers, IdentAlink has created a product called FaceMail that will decrypt a file or e-mail only if it recognizes the face of the person using the computer.

Starting from a digitized portrait, FaceMail abstracts a mathematical algorithm of a portion of the face. The user registers this template (public key) with Ident- Alinks certification server.

When sending e-mail, you attach the recipients public key. The image of anyone trying to open the file is compared with the attached public-key template. If the two match, the e-mail or file is decrypted.

I had no problem creating a FaceMail template and registering it with the authentication server. Encrypting, decrypting and applying signatures were all accomplished simply enough.

FaceMail runs on Windows and can be downloaded for a 21-day trial from

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