I may be late to the party on this one, but since we have been working on selfie authentication - our method for online identification using a video selfie - I've started paying more attention to the selfie phenomenon. I was given a selfie stick at SXSW last Spring and I didn't know what it was - just to give you a sense of my starting point on this journey.
We write all the time about the importance of strong online identity when it comes to online reviews of all types. The problem is a basic one - anonymous people behave badly. Anonymous people know they can't be held accountable so they behave in a way they would not if they were in public.
At BeehiveID, we have always been interested in online identity and its intersection with online reputation. We've always maintained that reputation and reviews are meaningless without identity, because you can't trust reviews from anonymous people. A recent start up called Peeple attempted to launch a "person review" app that would allow you to review people the same way you review products. One of the "features" of the app was that you could review people who weren't even using the app. For example, I could start a review of Justin Bieber, talking about how I don't like his music and then other people could pile on or disagree. The Internet backlash was quite extreme even by Internet standards. The Peeple app was the first time I have ever heard of a new app on TechCrunch and then saw both Fox News and The View talking about it the same day. The Washington Post wrote a HILARIOUS view of what Peeple would look like in the context of Beauty and the Beast.
Chip and PIN cards are becoming a requirement in the US, after gaining widespread adoption in the EU. A chip and PIN factor is a type of 2-factor authentication - you have a secure chip on the card that is effectively impossible to counterfeit (something you have), and you have a PIN that you only hold in your head (something you know). A chip and PIN card is fundamentally more secure than the conventional "mag stripe" cards used in the US now, which have no security at all.
I first heard about reshipping scams when BeehiveID was still a concept and we were in the beginning of our Techstars program. One of the companies we interviewed as part of our market validation had been a victim. People were using stolen credit cards to buy items from their website, receiving the item at their home address and then reshipping it to an address in Russia.
I ran across a fascinating article recently that did an analysis of movie reviews from some of the major review aggregators like Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes, and compared them to Fandango. The short version of the article is that Fandango essentially never gives a movie a review of less than 3 stars, while the other two sites have reviews that span the spectrum.
Last time we talked about how it is easy for scammers to defeat transactional fraud prevention techniques based upon IP address, because it is easy to move internet packets in ways that hide their true origin. Since our IP address doesn't reliably identify us, other techniques were developed that were independent of IP address. The one we are going to talk about today is called browser fingerprinting.
Our video selfie authentication method uses either your laptop/desktop webcam, or your phone's camera to record a selfie video. We're always concerned about ensuring online privacy, so I wanted to talk a little bit about the privacy aspects of webcams. You may have noticed that your webcam has an activity light that tells you that it is working. On a desktop webcam, it might look something like this: (blue light)
I've blogged before about how positive online reviews can be easily bought, making their value essentially worthless. A reporter for Fusion did a really interesting experiment where they created a fictional business hilariously called the "Freaking Awesome Karaoke Express" (FAKE, get it?) and breathed life into it by buying positive reviews and Twitter followers.
This is part 2 in a series about web fraud detection methods. Last time we talked about Internet Protocol (IP) addresses and how they are used with geolocation as an anti-fraud technique to blacklist people or countries known to be hotbeds of fraudulent activity. For example, many online dating sites will blacklist anyone coming from Nigeria, simply because of the amount of online dating fraud that originates there. This is an attractive proposition because it seems to match to our real-world society. As a store owner I can ban someone from my store, or maybe they will even go to jail and be unable to bother me in the future. If you are old enough, you probably remember something like this:
The comedian has a clown on his checks. Too cute.