Facebook has filed a patent application for a new technology that will seek to beat scammers and possibly bots using a new CAPTCHA system that will make use of a user’s social graph. Called the social CAPTCHA, this new technology will put forward several questions to a user – that Facebook suspects of being fraudulent – that only a real user could answer. This will include questions to identify a person from the user’s social network from their picture, or by offering a name and asking the user to pick the right picture, pick the right relationship between the user and their connect,etc.
Facebook claims the social CAPTCHA system will be able to effectively ward off hackers who unscrupulously gain access to users accounts since these hackers may not be aware of the users’ personal contacts. However, social CAPTCHA, in isolation, could be much more troublesome since any of the users’ close connects will be as much aware of the users’ network as the user themselves and hence cracking into any account will become extremely simple.
It will be interesting to see how Facebook incorporates this idea into their social network service.