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Sen. Al Franken is worried about iPhone X’s Face ID

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At issue is Face ID, a replacement for Touch ID that scans a smartphone owner’s face in order to unlock the device or authenticate Apple Pay. In the letter, addressed to Apple CEO Tim Cook, Franken gets right to the heart of the matter. “Apple has stated that all faceprint data will be stored locally on an individual’s device as opposed to being sent to the cloud,” writes Franken. The Democratic senator from Minnesota addresses the worry that Face ID might discriminate against people of color. “Apple has stated that it used more than one billion images in developing the Face ID algorithm. Where did these one billion face images come from?”.

That pesky bit about Face ID actually securing your device against low-tech hacks? “Please describe again all the steps that Apple has taken to ensure that Face ID can distinguish an individual’s face from a photograph or mask, for example,” requests the senator.

A detailed examination of just what Face ID means for the average consumer’s privacy – not just convenience when unlocking the phone – was overdue the minute the feature was unveiled.


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Post Author: Laura Sanders

7 thoughts on “Sen. Al Franken is worried about iPhone X’s Face ID

    Per-Anders Edwards

    (January 24, 2018 - 12:18 am)

    Well the only thing that makes me think they’re not just storing a hash of your biometric data is the ability for it to handle changes over time e.g. growing beards etc. That still doesn’t mean that the data is in any more readable a form than a password on a website, or could be used to reverse generate your face or look you up. In fact if there’s a variability factor in there chances are a reverse lookup would bring up quite a few users, and in addition there’s an AI chip built into the phone so there’s an even bigger chance that the data itself exists solely on the phone and not in the icloud database.

    Jason Blain

    (January 24, 2018 - 12:18 am)

    Meanwhile your tv hears everything you say and your robotic vacuum is mapping your house. But, OMG!!!! My phone knows what I look like. If you have any state or federal issued I.D, then they already have your picture.

    Dustin Crowley

    (January 24, 2018 - 12:18 am)

    If your using apple, Android, window’s, social media, google, you have no privacy and everything you do is monitored…

    Jeromy Perez

    (January 24, 2018 - 12:18 am)

    The problem isn’t the technology, it’s the limitations on its development.
    This technology in the right hands can do some good.
    So rather than get salty about the tech, write your congressman, or draft a bill proposal yourself proposing limitations on how the tech is used.

    You got options.

    Shawn Boyd

    (January 24, 2018 - 12:18 am)

    A.I. Frankin needs face-recognition technology (will need a super computer to do it though) 🙂

    Chris Phy

    (January 24, 2018 - 12:18 am)

    It was only a matter of time before this would become a concern lol

    Zoe Schuller

    (January 24, 2018 - 12:18 am)

    Agreed it is dangerous

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