A Chinese woman was offered a refund after her colleague was able to unlock her iPhone X through facial recognition, according to SCMP. This is the second time that the woman, with the surname Yan, has been offered a refund over a possible glitch in the iPhone X facial recognition tech.
iPhone X facial recognition – still to be perfected
Yan told a local news agency that the first time this happened, she called the Apple hotline, but the representative did not believe her. Then she went to the nearest Apple Store with her colleague, and demonstrated the problem. After acknowledging the issue, the store stated that the camera could be faulty, and offered a refund to Yan. However, the new iPhone X that she bought had the same issue, and thus, she was offered another refund, notes SCMP.
Ever since the launch of the iPhone X, stories of it being unlocked by people other than the owner have surfaced. Just last month, a video surfaced in which a 10-year-old unlocked his mother’s iPhone X. In the video, where the mother unlocks the phone first and then the kid does the same, the mother explains that she has set the facial recognition to her face, but her kid is able to unlock it.
Before these incidents, a researcher in Vietnam also showed how he was able to dodge Apple’s face recognition on the iPhone X with a mask made with a 3D printer, silicone and paper tape. Tuan Anh, VP of a Vietnamese cybersecurity firm, Bkav, gave Reuters several demonstrations, in which he was able to unlock the phone with his face, and then doing the same with the use of the mask.
Anh did admit that constructing a mask to unlock the iPhone X is not a cakewalk. However, the loophole could be risky for high-profile individuals, who have sensitive and valuable information on their smartphones.
Growing issues for Apple’s futuristic tech
Apple launched facial recognition with much fanfare, calling it the futuristic solution to secure your phone. However, the issues surrounding it are far from over. Earlier this month, another report surfaced stating that the iPhone X Face ID had stopped working for several customers after the release of the latest iOS version. Handsets displayed the message “Unable to activate the facial recognition on this phone.” The problem seemed to go away for some users by restarting the phone, but for some users that trick didn’t work.
Apple’s official page, which explains how Face ID works, says the probability of a user’s phone getting unlocked by another person is one in a million compared to 1-in-50,000 for the previously used fingerprint scanner. The page also mentions that the Face ID would allow five unsuccessful attempts before asking for the pass code.
The iPhone X facial recognition tech uses a neural engine to identify the outline and shape of a user’s face in real-time. A user who has bought a new iPhone X has to set up the Face ID profile by rotating the head in a circular motion twice to capture all the different angles of the face.