May 31, 2023

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This is the Face ID feature on the iPhone X

FACE ID: Another reminder of the security paradox Because convenience and security cannot be combined.

It could be that one of the biggest changes that Apple has presented to the iPhone X is Face ID. Instead of scanning fingerprints, you can now use your entire face to access iPhone X. The new TrueDepth camera on iPhone X will “project and analyze more than 30,000 invisible dots to create a high-fidelity depth map of a face,” then used to create a series of 2D images and depth maps stored securely in what Apple calls a Secure Enclave on iPhone. As with Touch ID, you can also use Face ID to shop or unlock encrypted data on iPhone X with your face. Face ID is set up as a security solution that’s faster and more secure than Touch ID, but also less convenient. After all, it is more inconvenient to open the smartphone by holding it in front of the face 25 – 50 cm.

Opening the iPhone under the table while chatting with your friends is now impossible. This reliance on optical-based recognition is likely to be the cause of the problems some users face when out in bright sunlight. Familial resemblance has also proved difficult for the system to distinguish between the faces of mother and child or between twins. The system was not as perfect as Apple believed. Experts are also divided about the implications of Face ID data that developers can access. Some believe that Apple will eventually release certain data from Face ID to developers that will allow developers to embed the feature into their apps.

These experts are concerned about the security that can be provided by these developers once the data is stored on their servers. Other experts worry about Apple’s ability to oversee so many developers around the world. But this is nothing new. Fingerprint scanners in smartphones have been routinely hacked since their launch. And even the Samsung Galaxy S8’s iris scanner was hacked. In a way, cat and mouse between security experts and their opponents will continue regardless of the “security” of the upcoming technology. Smartphone manufacturers will keep coming up with new security features because they want to convince you to buy them. But how secure are devices that are highly mobile and frequently connected to the many public and private networks every day? The basic nature of security is that access should not be made easy. If you really want to keep your data safe, you should store it in a different location. Ofine, encrypted and locked. Your smartphone is not the most secure device in the world. There is no comfort with security.

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