What could be the capabilities and risks of iPhone X face mapping?

Source: Slate

Apple has been setting records and standards of cellular technology since its inception raging speculative battles across fans and tech enthusiasts. This time the sleek, futuristic, and surreal iPhone X employs Face ID technology to unlock the phone utilizing infrared and visible light scans. The company claims impeccability and finesse of their perfectly crafted technology, external observers aren’t capable of confirming its credibility quite strongly.

Apple has claimed that this bio-metric authentication technology scans the face carefully initially to ensure flexible recognition later. The feature assures recognition in a wide variety of light conditions, updating of facial details, and even in the presence of accessories such as hats, scarves, lenses, sunglasses, etc. In addition to that, a doppelganger, mask or photograph cannot unlock the phone under any circumstances. For now, Face ID is a premium differentiating feature, but can be seen in the next upcoming models too. Face ID can be used in Apple Pay, App Store, iTunes purchases, and third-party app downloads. Apple says developers if a developer wants to use the bio-metric identification as a kind of second factor that can’t be bypassed.

A combination of infrared emitter and sensor is used to paint 30,000 points of infrared light on and around the face. It also captures flat or 2D infrared snapshots. Only attentive looking and open eyes can open the phone. The enrollment and comparison of the description of Face ID is similar to Touch ID. The enrollment data is sent to the Secure Enclave that can only respond with limited information. As Apple doesn’t collect or process this data, it cannot be retrieved by cracking the phone or intercepting information from it. The concern however, is that governments can force the company which has control over the proprietary technology to make changes that pass or extract facial identification information. It would be extremely difficult to fool Face ID as it would even resist a perfect plaster model given the necessity of infrared reflects of skin. Even an attacker with predictable elements cannot dupe the scanner.


The controversy over this feature has been adequately addressed by the Apple Inc. through its white paper and multiple forums. As long as customers have faith in the security and engineering of Apple devices, more questions should not be raised. However, careful scrutiny and experimentation at personal level is necessary. More information would emerge soon as the sumptuous iPhone X reaches more hands.

Article by Mausam.

What could be the capabilities and risks of iPhone X face mapping?


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