06 Nov, 2017

What Are The Privacy Concerns Surrounding The iPhoneX?


Imagine your phone knew you so well, you could gain weight, grow a beard, put on glasses and change your appearance completely, and it would still know you well enough to unlock and be accessible to you.

Well, if you haven’t heard the news already, welcome back to Earth, where the iPhone X has been the talk of the town since it has been debuted in September. Then, last week, the release date appeared on our calendars, reminding us of all the features that this iPhone has, setting it apart from the other models.

The one feature that sets this iPhone apart from the rest of the older iPhones is the feature that does exactly what is described above: face ID.

“The new top-of-the-range iPhone does away with the home button and its built-in fingerprint reader in favor of a new biometric — called Face ID — which uses a 3D scan of the user’s face for authenticating and unlocking their device. It also replaces Touch ID for Apple Pay too.” TechCrunch reports. 

Face ID replaces the touch ID that is a common feature seen on other iPhones. The touch ID unlocks the phone with a recognizable fingerprint, whereas the face ID unlocks the iPhone with your face.

Both features become familiar with the iPhone user, using scanning features to identify then unlock the phone, depending if you match the right criteria. This has driven the iPhone toward being more secure, and users adapted to it quickly. Now, this new feature is bringing privacy control to a whole new level, and its actually causing more privacy concerns, then securities.

“The core use for the iPhone X’s front-facing sensor module — aka the TrueDepth camera system, as Apple calls it — is to power a new authentication mechanism based on a facial biometric. Apple’s brand name for this is Face ID.” Tech Crunch reports. 

The iPhoneX uses your face to take 3D scans of a variety of different angles, saves that face onto a hardware chip, then compares it to any face that is trying to unlock the phone. So, if someone obtains your phone that isn’t you, they won’t have access to your phone at all, right? Maybe.

The idea of your face unlocking your phone, the device that holds your most valuable and meaningful information, can make users feel vulnerable and weary.

Face ID: Secure, Or Not?

The human face is a beautiful thing, capable of expressing a wide range of emotions. From sad, to happy, to angry, we can tell a story with our faces without even opening our mouths. So, knowing all of that, does it seem safe to a face hold the power to unlock technology?

Sure, I’m sure all of us can agree that we trust Apple to make a product that won’t be faulty enough to be fooled by a false identity, right?

“But Apple at least sounds confident that it’s nailed the technology, claiming the overall risk of another person being able to unlock someone’s device is 1 in one million.” TechCrunch reports.

is 1 in one million enough to convenience you? Besides the obvious concern that customers have regarding the concept of false identities being tossed around, another worry that is making a debut is the fact that biometrics are being used, as opposed to passcodes.

Biometrics uses human characteristics to authenticate computers. So, if this component is being used instead of other features, does that mean it will constantly be turned on? It brings forward this “always watching me” concern that most customers can’t sit well with.

Many people find the Face ID invasive and pushing the boundaries of technology. What do you think? Will we get used to this fad, or will this cause too much of a concern? Only time will tell.


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