How Safe Is Apple’s Face ID?

With the removal of Touch ID in the Home button, users will have to use Face ID to unlock their iPhone X and authenticate payments. Even though Apple promises that Face ID is more secure than Touch ID and can recognize owners even if they are wearing glasses or grow a beard, there are a few things the company mentioned in its new privacy page that the feature can’t distinguish.

Apple states that Face ID has a higher chance of false matching twins and children under the age of 13. While there may not be too many kids under the age of 13 with an iPhone X, Face ID will have a hard time with kids since their distinct facial features haven’t fully developed. Apple suggests for users who experience this issue to use the passcode to authenticate.

To improve unlock performance and keep pace with the natural changes of your face and look, Face ID augments its stored mathematical representation over time. Upon successful unlock, Face ID may use the newly calculated mathematical representation — if its quality is sufficient — for a finite number of additional unlocks before that data is discarded. Conversely, if Face ID fails to recognize you, but the match quality is higher than a certain threshold and you immediately follow the failure by entering your passcode, Face ID takes another capture and augments its enrolled Face ID data with the newly calculated mathematical representation. This new Face ID data is discarded after a finite number of unlocks and if you stop matching against it. These augmentation processes allow Face ID to keep up with dramatic changes in your facial hair or makeup use, while minimizing false acceptance.

Although the device has a hard time distinguishing twins and children, Apple says that Face ID is still safe and the chances of a random person unlocking your device are about 1 in a million, or 20 times more secure than Touch ID. Apple also says that users don’t have to worry about security and privacy issues since the data gathered is encrypted. To read more about Apple’s privacy regarding Face ID, you can head over to the company’s recently updated privacy page.

Source: The Verge

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