Face ID isn't enough to secure your sensitive data

As long rumored, the unveiling of the iPhone X on Tuesday brought with it the death of Touch ID. In its place will be a little something called Face ID. But here's the thing: You shouldn't use it...


As long rumored, the unveiling of the iPhone X on Tuesday brought with it the death of Touch ID. In its place will be a little something called Face ID.

But here's the thing: You shouldn't use it.

Hailed by Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing, Phil Schiller, as a revolution in technology, Face ID does what it sounds like: It scans your face to unlock your phone. Except, well, you can't blindly trust it to fully keep your data secure. Don't believe us? Even Apple thinks that relying solely on Face ID to unlock your phone might be a bad move — Schiller said as much from the stage at the Steve Jobs Theater on Apple's Cupertino campus.

SEE ALSO: Why the iPhone 8's facial recognition could be a privacy disaster

"There's no perfect system, not even biometric ones," he noted before adding that "if you happen to have an evil twin, you really need to protect your [...] sensitive data with a passcode."

Why could that be? Maybe because biometrics are inherently insecure. This is something we saw with the Samsung Galaxy S8 face unlock, which can be fooled with a photo. And even though Apple claims to have designed their system with the photo-hack in mind, it's common knowledge among security professionals that relying solely on some kind of facescan for security isn't the best idea.

"It's like setting your password to 'password' then tattooing it on your forehead," Dan Tentler, a security researcher with The Phobos Group, told Mashable in August. "Then becoming a television news anchor, or a vlogger, or something."

Schiller said there's a one in a million chance that someone who looks like you can unlock your phone with Face ID. Comparatively, there's a one in 50,000 chance that a random person could use their fingerprint to unlock your iPhone using Touch ID.

While one in a million seems pretty good, who knows how reliable that statistic is. Schiller didn't disclose how Apple got those numbers. That said, when it comes down to it, you're much better off just using an old-school passphrase.

And, as we saw during the presentation when the demo failed on stage, there still may be some bugs to work out.

Still, Schiller clearly believes in the product. "Teams worked hard to protect your face data," he told the crowd. Which, that's good to hear! But they don't have to protect what you refuse to give them.

So maybe just stick with a regular-old password — your "sensitive data" will thank you.

Source: Mashable



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