Security and Privacy Experts Are Already Worried About Apple’s FaceID iPhone Tracking Technology
Yesterday, Apple unveiled its latest smartphone, the iPhone X, which comes equipped with FaceID facial recognition technology.
The technology acts as a successor to Apple’s TouchID fingerprint scanning system. Apple claims its FaceID is “20 times more secure” than TouchID, and will be used to unlock apps or authorize ApplePay payments.
Still, security researchers – and users – are understandably concerned about how FaceID could track smartphones, track users, and generally monitor people in unethical ways.
Here are some of the concerns people have about Apple’s newest smartphone tracking technology:
Where Will Facial Data Be Stored?
Typically, Apple stores users’ biometric data on a platform called its “Secure Enclave”. This is a separate, encrypted section of your iPhone. Apple doesn’t hold onto biometric data. Obviously, Apple has had trouble securing data in the cloud, so storing FaceID data on your own phone is a good thing.
Can Law Enforcement Force You to Use Your Face to Unlock your Phone?
Another question about Apple’s FaceID iPhone tracking technology is in regards to law enforcement: will police be able to use your face to unlock your phone without a warrant?
FaceID raises legal question – can law enforcement make you unlock your phone by putting it in front of your face? Anyone know? #AppleEvent
— Alyssa Newcomb (@AlyssaNewcomb) September 12, 2017
Early reports show that you can close your eyes to prevent FaceID from unlocking your phone. Still, this will be an interesting legal question when cases like this head to court in the future.
How Else is Apple Planning to Use Facial Data?
Apple’s latest conference drew parallels to Arya Stark and the Faceless Men. The Apple stage featured images of “face masks” that looked a lot like Arya’s face masks from Game of Thrones.
This brought up the question of how Apple was planning to use facial data collected with FaceID – because they plan to use it for more than just unlocking iPhones.
Apple exec Craig Federighi said that the sensors used for FaceID can be used elsewhere – like to track your face on Snapchat and to make Animojis.
It’s possible that Apple could also use this data to track which parts of an app you’re looking at, or to measure your emotion when interacting with your phone. This opens up a whole new scary world of potential marketing strategies.
Will Apps Have Access to FaceID Sensors?
Will Apple authorize third-party apps to access FaceID sensors?
Even if Apple doesn’t authorize apps to access these sensors, would it be possible for hackers to bypass these restrictions and monitor FaceID data?
App developers could certainly create interesting applications using FaceID sensors – like being able to see your realistic-looking face on your in-game character. However, we can also see this being exploited for advertising purposes.
Will FaceID Even Work in Real-Life Scenarios?
In real-life, people don’t look at their phones with perfect lighting on their face. People unlock their phones with the lights out in bed. They unlock their phones with makeup on or off. They grow moustaches for No Shave November. They grow their hair short or long. There are so many variables affecting how someone’s face might look on any given day – is FaceID really smart enough to track iPhones and monitor all these variables?
How to Track An iPhone Today
SpyStealth is smartphone tracking software available for iPhone and Android. You can download the software from our website today, then install it on your chosen device. It’s as easy as connecting the target device to your computer.
After you install SpyStealth on an iPhone, it can track SMS messages, monitor GPS location data, share call details, and even scan social media and camera roll activity.
You don’t need Apple’s FaceID technology to start tracking an iPhone. Download your demo of SpyStealth today!