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IPhone X Face ID spills secrets as Apple talks security

28 Septembre 2017

Apple did not respond to an inquiry on September 27 seeking comment on the latest reports of production problems with the iPhone X.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, August 1st. The delay relates to the assembly of equipment used to project the 30,000 infrared dots onto a user's face to map its characteristics, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday, also citing unidentified people. "If you're concerned about this, we recommend using a passcode to authenticate", Apple said in the guidelines. Last year, the company faced off with the FBI, refusing to help the bureau break into the phone of one of the San Bernardino shooters. The X, the most advanced iPhone to date, will be unlocked using Face ID, a facial-recognition tool that replaces the fingerprint sensor. From there, Apple's A.I. network processes the image and determines whether to unlock the phone or not.

You'll need to upload a picture of your face which will be stored on your phone - not Apple's servers - hopefully satisfying those with Big Brother fears about the company keeping a database of everyone's selfies.

The new site and the white papers essentially outline Apple's commitment to privacy as it introduces more personal and potentially sensitive features and services. But the way it works - creating an incredibly detailed map of your face, then storing that away - has the potential not only to be unusual but outright risky.

The facial recognition data never actually leaves the phone, for instance - and even inside of the phone, is kept in a specifically secure part, meaning that even Apple can't see it.

Maybe - although Face ID only works if you're looking at it.

"If you use Face ID, a third-party application receives the notification about whether the authentication is successful, she can't access the ID of the entity or the data associated with the registered face", said Apple. That data, along with a 2D infrared image, are transferred to the Secure Enclave. The numeric representation of users' fingerprints were stored in the secure element of the iPhone's processor, and the Face ID data is stored in the exact same place. For example, University of California-Davis law professor Elizabeth Joh, who specializes in police use of technology, points out that while police can't force you to give up a password, they can hold your phone up to your face without your permission to unlock it.

There are still a number of unanswered questions about Face ID, with how the software performs out in the wild under less than ideal lighting conditions being one of the more significant ones. Finally, American Beacon Advisors Inc. acquired a new position in Apple in the 1st quarter valued at approximately $117,000. Face ID, it seems, is no exception.

Faced with the challenges of protecting user privacy in the era of AI, a senior official from Apple said in an interview with China Daily that the company is working hard to minimize data collection and use, when developing innovative features.

IPhone X Face ID spills secrets as Apple talks security