How Apple’s Face ID works, learns, and protects

Apple Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing, Phil Schiller, introduces the iPhone X during a launch event in Cupertino, California, US September 12, 2017. However, what’s even more impressive is that because the iPhone X has an edge-to-edge display, the overall physical size of the iPhone X isn’t much larger than the iPhone 6s, despite the much larger display.


When you “enroll” your face for logins, the iPhone X will turn the scanned information into a mathematical representation that it then encrypts and stores on a special processor called the Secure Enclave. 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. But skeptics ask: How can the iPhone be certain it isn’t being “spoofed”? This should make the system more secure because you can’t extract an infrared profile from someone’s photos. Apple has given attention to minor details and while they might not be visible, the new iPhones have been made with the highest grade of materials that one can find on a smartphone. Since NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden’s disclosures of mass electronic surveillance programs in 2013 and an ongoing Federal Bureau of Investigation push to access end-to-end encrypted devices like iPhones, Apple has billed itself as the privacy-focused alternative to Google’s Android and its reputation for monetizing bulk users data. Benson Investment Management Company Inc. now owns 27,565 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock worth $3,970,000 after buying an additional 393 shares during the last quarter.

The biggest concern, however, is the potential misuse of technology.

Apple also opened up about how much access third-party apps will have to the technology. “If you’re concerned about this, we recommend using a passcode to authenticate”.

The privacy site update lines up with other demonstrations of Apple’s strong, and often vocal, belief in personal data privacy. “You can see what’s going on here this morning – I couldn’t be happier”.

“Differential privacy is still a new, fairly experimental pursuit, and Apple is putting it to the test against millions of users’ private data”, EFF says. There are tips and warnings about what the users need to do in order to maintain privacy on Apple devices. The newly released Apple document, however, paints things a little differently – saying that siblings might also be able to trick the system into a false positive.

Jennifer Grygiel, assistant professor of communications at SU’s Newhouse School, says there is an inherent risk in using a phone in a way to unlock your data that could be done without consent. The iPhone 8’s screen will be perfectly fine for the average user, but the Galaxy S8 has the best handheld screen anywhere.


The former will not be stymied by hats, scarves, glasses, contact lenses, and sunglasses, as well as different lighting conditions (including total darkness).

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