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Britain’s spies develop new facial recognition app

Britain’s spies develop new facial recognition app that locks their mobile phone screen if someone tries to read it over their shoulder while they are browsing secrets

  • Spies at GCHQ have created a facial recognition phone app  for Apple phones
  • The Face-Off app ensures the owner is the only person able to view the screen 
  • It automatically locks the screen if a different or second face is detected
  • The app is at prototype stage, but will be rolled out across security services  

Spies have created a face recognition phone app that automatically locks their mobile if someone tries to read it over their shoulder.

The Face-Off software for Apple Phones has been developed by GCHQ to ensure the owner is the only person able to view the screen and would prevent information being accessed if the device was stolen.

The app, which will locks the phone if a different or second face is detected, is part of measures to allow top secret information to be shared by phone.

The app, which is currently at a prototype stage, uses facial recognition and facial detection technology, and is set to be rolled out across the security services. 

The Face-Off software for Apple Phones has been developed by GCHQ to ensure the owner is the only person able to view the screen and would prevent information being accessed if the device was stolen

It will be offered to other departments where classified information is processed, including the Cabinet Office, the Ministry of Defence, and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, The Times reports.  

The technology has been developed by Initiate, the cybersecurity research and innovation unit within the National Cyber Security Centre, the defensive branch of GCHQ.

Whitehall is said to be concerned about the security of civil servants’ mobile use and some departments have begun to move away from WhatsApp, the paper reports.

Officials at the NCSC, MoD and several other government departments are understood to be trialling several new generation messaging apps.

The technology has been developed by Initiate, the cybersecurity research and innovation unit within the National Cyber Security Centre, the defensive branch of GCHQ (pictured)

The technology has been developed by Initiate, the cybersecurity research and innovation unit within the National Cyber Security Centre, the defensive branch of GCHQ (pictured)

They want the ability to offer encryption for information, but want the government to be in charge of that encryption.

There are fears over the security of chat histories which a WhatsApp user may choose to store in the cloud. 

The Times reports that British firm Armour Comms, and Cryptify, which is based in Sweden, are some of the commercial apps being trialled. 

They can be used on Apple and Android phones. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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