The wait for iPhone X is nearly over as the launch is just over two weeks away. While Apple’s tenth anniversary smartphone packs a lot of interesting features, the face ID feature might be our glimpse into the future of security of smartphones. For instance, recently researchers revealed that the company’s technology is at least two years ahead of its competitors. Despite that, the upcoming Face ID feature attracted a lot of attention. Earlier last month, Senator AL Franken wrote to Apple to address his worries about the facial recognition feature. And now, the company has responded to all of the questions raised earlier last month along with some details regarding storage of data.
According to Apple, the upcoming Face ID will allow users to unlock their phones by just glancing at the screen once. While the feature will provide a faster way to unlock iPhone X, the data related to the feature will be stored in the cloud which raised questions among users. The company addressed the concern by saying, “Face ID data, including mathematical representations of your face, is encrypted and only available to the Secure Enclave. This data never leaves the device. It is not sent to Apple, nor is it included in device backups. Face images captured during normal unlock operations aren’t saved, but are instead immediately discarded once the mathematical representation is calculated for comparison to the enrolled Face ID data.”
The company also addressed the concerns related to third-party access by saying, “Third-party apps can use system provided APIs to ask the user to authenticate using Face ID or a passcode, and apps that support Touch ID automatically support Face ID without any changes. When using Face ID, the app is notified only as to whether the authentication was successful; it cannot access Face ID or the data associated with the enrolled face.”
While these concerns are valid, we will have to wait until we get our hands on the iPhone X to judge the feature completely. At the moment however, it’s not known if the company will give law enforcement agencies access to the data related to FaceID.
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