A “Look” at FaceID

By Superior Blogger | Published November 9, 2017


The recent launch of the iPhone X has caused big buzz around the world and one interesting feature is quite startling – FaceID. Imagine unlocking a phone just by glancing at it! Cool stuff indeed, but how concerned should users and organizations be about this biometric technology?

How does it work?

FaceID is not the first biometric capability to go mainstream. TouchID, using a fingerprint, has been part of iPhone for years now and has been considered the gold standard of user identification. It’s been so reliable that banks and many other organizations are willing to forego username and password entry to instead have a fingerprint submission take its place.

FaceID works in a similar way except that it records and matches patterns in one’s face opposed to a fingerprint, using a set of sophisticated cameras to initially record and then examine a user’s face to decide whether or not to unlock the device.

 Why change from TouchID?

Two big reasons to introduce this mechanism to replace TouchID – first, Apple wanted a larger screen with no home button. Traditionally, the home button acted as the fingerprint scanner. Instead, they eliminated the home button to provide a massive screen that goes from edge to edge of the device. Second, TouchID requires an active movement – placing a finger on the sensor. FaceID is passive, just look at the phone which you’re going to do anyway. It’s just easier.

 Why is it safe?

Apple has been very upfront about this question saying FaceID is far more accurate than TouchID (versus 1 in a million chance for FaceID versus 1 in 50,000 for TouchID) as one aspect of its safety. The company also says all FaceID profiles are stored in secure elements on the individual devices – nowhere else. No storage in iCloud, no availability of FaceID authentication data to third party app developers (just whether authentication was successful or not and a limited set of facial data to make funny Animoji faces, etc), and a set number of FaceID attempts before requiring the device’s passcode.

 Should we use it in our apps?

Like TouchID, FaceID can be used in apps you’ve developed as an authentication mechanism of the device’s user. This speeds interaction dramatically over keying in username and password time and again. For your users, it’s a great experience that secures your app to its intended users.

For more information on how FaceID could help or affect your business or your customers, please contact Superior Technology at 845-735-3555 or online at www.superiortechnology.com.


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