You could soon be using your face to get back into your Facebook account

Facial recognition is in the news right now thanks to the iPhone X unlock system, but it seems Facebook is also investigating potential uses of the tech - the social media giant is apparently testing a face ID system for getting you back into a locked account.

Originally seen in a tweet showing a screenshot of the feature in action, the trial of facial recognition was later confirmed by Facebook to TechCrunch. As usual with new Facebook features, it's only available to a limited number of users to begin with, while the company checks how well it's working.

For now, it's designed to help you recover an account you've lost access to, rather than to log you into Facebook normally - in other words, if someone hacks into your account, you can show your face on a registered phone to help get it back.

Account protection

"We are testing a new feature for people who want to quickly and easily verify account ownership during the account recovery process," Facebook told TechCrunch. "This optional feature is available only on devices you’ve already used to log in."

Facebook says its existing account protection features, like two-factor authentication, aren't going away - this is just another way to prove you are who you say you are. Another recovery method you can use in Facebook right now is specifying some "trusted" friends who can get you back into your account if you're locked out.

Ultimately the aim is to make it virtually impossible to someone else to take control of your Facebook account, even if they happen across your email address and password. If the test run proves successful, it could appear for everyone in the near future.

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.