Sen Franken to Apple How Safe Is Face ID Really

first_img A day after Apple introduced Face ID—the facial recognition system at the heart of iPhone X—Sen. Al Franken petitioned the company for details on its privacy and security safeguards.The 10th-anniversary handset unveiled Tuesday features an upgraded front camera that creates and stores a 3D map of your facial geometry.Even in poor lighting conditions, under cover of a hat or scarf, or ruined by age, the device will be able to recognize its owner, allowing folks to unlock the phone, use Apple Pay, and access secure apps with just one look.But, as with any technology, there is room for error.“Unlike a password, an individual’s faceprint is permanent, public, and uniquely identifies its owner,” Franken wrote in a letter to Tim Cook. “Should a bad actor gain access to the faceprint data that Face ID requires, the ramifications could last forever.”Cupertino has already addressed a number of consumers’ concerns: For instance, facial-recognition data will be saved on individual iPhones, not sent to the cloud. And the firm worked with professional Hollywood mask makers to ensure its system won’t be fooled by 3D models or photographs.Still, you can never be too safe, and Franken is pushing for additional transparency “on this complex new technology.”The Senator drafted a list of 10 questions, covering issues of storage, AI training, accuracy, possible distribution, and those dreaded law enforcement requests to access user data (which Apple has, in the past, stood firmly against).While many of his queries were answered in more general terms during this week’s event, Franken hits upon one topic never discussed from the stage of the new Steve Jobs Theater:“In order for Face ID to function and unlock the device, is the facial recognition system ‘always on,’ meaning does Face ID perpetually search for a face to recognize?” he inquired.If so, will Apple retain raw photos and the so-called faceprints of people who unlock (or attempt to unlock) the device?The tech titan did not immediately respond to Geek’s request for comment; it remains unclear whether it will answer Franken’s questions by the proposed Oct. 13 deadline.For more, see The iPhone X Can’t Have My Face.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Stay on target iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro Have More Cameras, More ProblemsApple Arcade Launches Next Week last_img

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