iPhone X Face ID

Discussion of non-operating system issues related to iPods, iPhones, and the iPod Touch.
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Stephen Hart
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iPhone X Face ID

Post by Stephen Hart » Mon Oct 16, 2017 3:28 pm

I thought, "Oh dear!" when I first saw Al Franken's public letter to Apple about the security of the new Face ID features. His question was valid, but the basic information he wanted was already on Apple's website before Franken asked about it:
Face ID is processed in the Secure Enclave and never leaves the iPhone. Nothing is sent to Apple, nothing is stored anywhere else. Everything is encrypted.
My thought is that Face Recognition--assuming it works reliably in the real world--is inherently much more secure than fingerprint detection.

However, it may turn out to seem socially a little weird to look intently at your iPhone when buying a Latte instead of discretely touching the Home button!

It's nice to see that Franken responds to new information positively.

Sen. Franken lauds Apple response detailing Face ID security
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Ray Bentsen
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Re: iPhone X Face ID

Post by Ray Bentsen » Wed Oct 18, 2017 12:41 pm

Stephen Hart wrote:
Mon Oct 16, 2017 3:28 pm
However, it may turn out to seem socially a little weird to look intently at your iPhone when buying a Latte instead of discretely touching the Home button!
I would hope that looking at your iPhone "casually" rather than "intently" would work to unlock your iPhone X. I will just have to buy one to find out for sure.

In any case, I am sure that you would not be the first customer in Starbucks to be looking at an iPhone while ordering a latte!

;)
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Re: iPhone X Face ID

Post by Stephen Hart » Wed Oct 18, 2017 2:15 pm

I think Apple actually uses the word "alert," presumably to reassure customers that no one can unlock their iPhone X by putting in front of their unconscious or drugged face. I suspect Apple could add features a user could set up, such as winking one eye, though even if that's possible, it might be a bad idea for other reasons.
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Re: iPhone X Face ID

Post by Stephen Hart » Wed Oct 18, 2017 2:26 pm

Ray Bentsen wrote:
Wed Oct 18, 2017 12:41 pm
In any case, I am sure that you would not be the first customer in Starbucks to be looking at an iPhone while ordering a latte!

;)
Of course my comment was stupid. People walk around all day, in and out of traffic, in concerts, pretty much everywhere staring intently at their iPhones. I'm probably the only one who thinks that looks socially weird (not to mention dangerous). [Can't put another smilie in my reply. "The maximum number of smilies allowed is 1."]
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Re: iPhone X Face ID

Post by Stephen Hart » Sat Oct 21, 2017 12:40 pm

From an opinion piece in 9to5Mac:
I also get the security concerns around this. It’s not difficult to concoct some scenarios where Face ID could, in theory, be less secure than Touch ID. Someone grabs your phone from a coffee shop table and holds the phone up to you momentarily before they run off with your now-unlocked phone.
Of course, I have no inside information on Apple's R&D on face recognition, but this strikes me as exactly the kind of scenario Apple would have spent a lot of time and money on. Imagine the embarrassment (and stock-price hit) of news stories saying you just have to hold a stolen (or confiscated) iPhone X up to someone's face and it unlocks. That and an unconscious face are probably the two things Apple tested first.

Note that a photo is a nonstarter. Face ID compares a 3D wireframe model (and maybe several other factors) with the camera's view.

(Plus, in the scenario above, the legit owner could just shout "Hey Siri! Call the police; you're being stolen.")
"Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works."
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Re: iPhone X Face ID

Post by Stephen Hart » Tue Oct 31, 2017 9:05 am

Face ID consistently worked even without being pointed conspicuously at my face. Laying on a desk, it can generally see you from the side. No need to gaze into the device and wait for recognition. It's really fast.
The writer repeats "It's really fast." several times in the article.

http://appleinsider.com/articles/17/10/ ... th-face-id

Also:
In the beginning of the video, posted by Business Insider, one of the twins tries on sunglasses, a hat, a scarf, and then all three, challenging Apple's assertions that Face ID can ignore those changes. The phone passes all four tests.

When confronted with both twins sans any accessories, the phone unlocks for one of them but not the other, despite there being little difference between the two people.
http://appleinsider.com/articles/17/10/ ... th-face-id
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Re: iPhone X Face ID

Post by Stephen Hart » Sat Nov 11, 2017 9:13 am

One thing I haven't seen addressed is waking an iPhone X with Face ID while driving. That seems more dangerous than using Touch ID.
This also comes up if there's a passenger that wants to use the driver's iPhone X. Face ID will only accept one face, while Touch ID would accept five fingerprints, even if they're from different people. Of course, a passenger can always use the passcode.
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Ray Bentsen
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Re: iPhone X Face ID

Post by Ray Bentsen » Sat Nov 11, 2017 11:14 am

Stephen Hart wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 9:13 am
One thing I haven't seen addressed is waking an iPhone X with Face ID while driving. That seems more dangerous than using Touch ID.
Consider not using your iPhone at all while driving. Apple has actually encouraged this with the "Do not disturb while Driving" setting. (see screenshot)
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An old Norse adage: Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.

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Re: iPhone X Face ID

Post by Stephen Hart » Sat Nov 11, 2017 12:19 pm

Quite right. An excellent choice for people who get a lot of calls while driving.

I can use CarPlay (wired) or BlueTooth (which connects automatically, even if the iPhone is in my pocket) and answer the iPhone with a steering-wheel button, so it's not really an issue for me. I've done this a couple of times and it works remarkably well.
In the past, I've gotten very few calls while driving, and have no compulsion to answer immediately.
"Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works."
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