Apple's Face ID may not be Secure

Rich Tehrani : Communications and Technology Blog - Tehrani.com
Rich Tehrani
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Apple's Face ID may not be Secure

After answering critics for years that the size of the iPhone was large enough in comparison to the ever-larger Android devices, the company finally capitulated and now makes phones it once implied we would never see. In 2013 they actually said larger devices don't fit in the hand. After the taller iPhone 5 was launched, that all changed. The iPhone 6 Plus became even taller and wider.

Apple made an important design decision with its iPhone X line. Instead of making its phone very large like the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 at 6.3 inches, it settled on 5.8 inches and instead added tech to recognize your face while taking away the fingerprint sensor.

iphone-x-face-id.png

The company states that there is a one-in-a-million chance another person could unlock your phone. Let's put this aside for a second as facial biometrics has inherent security issues - none of which are the the fault of Apple.

What is worth noting however is Face ID can potentially be used to unlock an iPhone X without the permission of the owner.

We reached out to Apple for comment.

Specifically in the following situations:

  1. Law enforcement holds phone up to person’s face to unlock it.
  2. Person sleeping or partially passed out – another person holds phone up to their face.
We didn't immediately hear back and will update this post if we do.

One wonders if the company was better off leaving Touch ID and spending its resources on making an even larger phone. After all, if anything, Apple's phone sizes seem to consistently trail Samsung. Would it really be that bad to meet them head-on?

Update: Apple did respond to our outreach. Please see the following post for details.


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