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Computer vision applications for mobile phones are gaining increasing attention due to several practical needs resulting from the popularity of digital cameras in today's mobile phones. In this work, we consider the task of face detection and authentication in mobile phones and experimentally analyze a face authentication scheme using Haar-like features with Ad-aBoost for face and eye detection, and local binary pattern (LBP) approach for face authentication. For comparison, another approach to face detection using skin color for fast processing is also considered and implemented. Despite the limited CPU and memory capabilities of today's mobile phones, our experimental results show good face detection performance and average authentication rates of 82% for small-sized faces (40times40 pixels) and 96% for faces of 80times80 pixels. The system is running at 2 frames per second for images of 320times240 pixels. The obtained results are very promising and assess the feasibility of face authentication in mobile phones. Directions for further enhancing the performance of the system are also discussed.