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Japan's face-authorizing cigarette machines no match for Bruce Willis photo

Thomas Ricker, @trixxy
July 1, 2008
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Remember those Japanese vending machines that use face recognition to scan for wrinkles and saggy skin before authenticating cigarette purchases? Surprise, they're so easy to circumvent that even a nicotine-addicted kid can do it. Turns out the cameras will authenticate "a 15-centimeter (6-inch) wide magazine photo of a man who looked to be in his 50s." Smaller clippings work too as demonstrated by a successful cigarette vend using a 3-inch photo of a woman in her 30s -- a 1-inch wide photo failed, however. Still, only 4,000 of Japan's 570,000 cigarette vending machines feature the cams and these are due for a software update in response to the flaw -- the rest use RFID readers to check the smoker's Taspo age-verification card. Nevertheless, we don't think it's much of a stretch to predict that this system, like that of DRM controlled music, is destined to fail.

[Via The Raw Feed]


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