Steve Jobs was an amazing technological revolutionist with his creation of Apple and its many products; most notably, the iPhone. With a new iPhone being released just about every year, it can become difficult to keep up with the next best thing from Apple. One of Apple’s most popular accomplishment is the iPhone X.
Facial Recognition: How does it work?
Aside from the iPhone X’s larger infinity screen, it’s the biggest selling feature that it focuses on for the advertisements is its ability to use a picture of the user’s face in order to unlock their phone. The big question is, how exactly does it work? Biometric facial recognition for Apple’s iPhone X uses infrared and visible light scans to identify the user’s face. This isn’t the first time we have been introduced to this type of technology. Regardless, this facial recognition has been what everyone has been talking about since the release of the phone. Most likely due to the fact that Apple removed the “Touch ID” system altogether.
Apple published a white page that explains the technology behind the Face ID a little more in depth. The white page claims that this biometric technology has a low false rate; however, there are been cases of users able to bypass the Face ID on a phone that is not theirs. So, the claim of a low false rate is debatable on the matter of what Apple constitutes as “low.”
The Face ID technology utilizes a “TrueDepth camera.” The TrueDepth camera uses 30,000 infrared dots to create a depth map of the user’s face as well as producing a 2D infrared image. The data collected from this process is then used to create a plethora of 2D images and depth maps; each with their own unique signature, and then sent to the Secure Enclave.
How Strong is Face ID’s Security?
Apple claims that the TrueDepth camera will randomize the images and customizes a random pattern unique to the specific device in use. At which point, the bionic processor will transform the data into an algorithm, and then compares that data to the information given to the Face ID. This is a great idea in theory, but the implementation of it is flawed. First off, the new face ID method is not a reliable biometric source. Most people invest in iPhone because they generally have a fantastic security system. Unfortunately, the Face ID may not be as secure as you think.
Nothing in this world is unbeatable. No matter how great you are at writing code, there’s going to be someone out there that’s better at hacking it. This same concept goes towards biometric passcodes like Touch and Face ID. However, every time someone is able to “beat the system” and fake their way past the Touch or Face ID, Apple is right there to correct and strengthen their security with their ID recognition systems. However, seeing as iPhone X is still fresh and new, the biometric scanning system is still highly vulnerable to potential hacks. There are ways to get around the Face ID already that Apple still has not fixed. Methods such as finding a picture of the phone user on social media have been proven to work in unlocking a phone, thus, granting the hacker access to all of your personal information.
Even though Face ID is relatively vulnerable to hacks, there is no evidence in favor of either Face ID or Touch ID to have stronger security than the other. In the end, the pin code will always be the most secure method to keep your information safe.
It’s Okay Though
Everything that is new goes through a “bug fixing” period. Nothing is ever perfect the first time. Therefore, even though some of the features of the new iPhone X may be flawed, those flaws will more than likely be addressed by the developers. In that event, the developers will do their best to fix the issues that they can and release a new device. If you currently have or are deciding on purchasing an iPhone X, understand that although the Face ID feature might be a neat trick; although, it hasn’t been proven to be as secure as Apple makes it out to be. Just keep in mind that the pin passcode is safe and reliable as long as you update it frequently and utilize random number sequences.
At the end of the day, Face ID is essentially the same as Touch ID since Touch ID has roughly the same potential of being hacked as Face ID does.