Why Tagged Facebook Photos (Sometimes) Fail as a Security Check

Here’s a funny example of a photo-based security feature gone wrong: starting in May, Facebook started doing user verification checks when logging in from an unfamiliar computer in order to make sure it’s actually the account owner logging in. The verification checks are photo-based, and involve correctly naming people you have listed as friends. Unfortunately, the feature will sometimes ask users to correctly name unfamiliar things: people they don’t know very well, dogs, cats, objects, gummy bears, etc…

The above screenshot was taken by Facebook user Eleanor Herman, an author who connects with her readers and who hasn’t been able to correctly identify 5 out of 7 random friends. After failing the test, one must wait an hour before trying again. Herman has been locked out of her account for the past 10 days.

(via ReadWriteWeb)

  • Inkmemoirs

    Someone needs to explain foresight to the lead developer. Heehee.

  • Inkmemoirs

    Someone needs to explain foresight to the lead developer. Heehee.

  • brian

    thats funny

  • Garry Knight

    This happened to me, too, back in May.

  • David Mathias

    That's hilarious. The law of unintended consequences strikes. I think I'll stick to using familiar computers when accessing Facebook…

  • Tom Kelly

    I have two Facebook profiles, one personal and one business. I manage both on the same computer, different browsers. The personal one is fine. But tonight I was locked out of the business account and given photos to ID of persons I do not know visually. This is a bad system.

  • Dark Angel

    I just had this happen without changing computers, browsers, or even browser sessions. I was logged in on one tab, my news feed, as I play a facebook game in a different tab. I do this all the time, and never had issues before.