During Apple’s demo on stage of the iPhone X’s Face ID, which is supposed to let a user unlock the phone by looking at it, the feature failed. Oops. The new Face ID feature is supposed to be more accurate and secure than Touch ID, which currently lets iPhone users unlock their devices with a fingerprint.
But what happens when it fails? Well, you’ll need to enter your passcode instead. Apple talked a bit about how there are plenty of new features built into the iPhone that should allow this to work in all situations, even in the dark. Just apparently not on stage in front of a huge audience.
Privacy advocates have a huge problem with the facial recognition technology. Via Mashable:
“It’s a privacy issue that the camera on the phone will always be on,” MIT’s Jonathan Schwartz told Mashable in a phone interview. He added that it’s a similar privacy risk posed by devices like the Amazon Echo. That’s primarily because if you don’t need to activate the gadget before it captures data.
The device, instead, will record all kinds of things that you don’t intend it to by default. Which, um, could get you in trouble. And when it comes to a smartphone or the next iPhone, remember, there’s the added wrinkle of it always being on you — at least an Amazon Echo is restricted to your home.
Even putting resting unlock aside, however, Schwartz made it clear that his organization has numerous concerns with biometrics in general: everything from weak 5th Amendment protections (cops can force you to unlock your phone with a thumbprint), to biometrics being trivial to fake.
But it’s facial recognition in particular that has him particularly worried. “It raises unique issues of privacy,” said Schwartz. “Much more so than any other biometric.”
There’s much more at the second link above that’s worth your time if you are considering the iPhone X.