Apple explains the ins, outs and privacy of Face ID


Apple's Face ID is a make-or-break feature for the upcoming iPhone X. It completely replaces Touch ID and should be more accurate and tougher to crack, but up until now we did not know the details of how Face ID works.

Today, Apple has published a six-page whitepaper that explains the ins and outs of Face ID. The tech paper is published on Apple's new privacy and security portal, and the first thing it does is confirm that your face data is only stored on the device and not in the cloud. The Face ID system will read your face and save a partial data for your face that even if somehow extracted from the iPhone X, will not be sufficient for a full face reconstruction of that person.

But what is more curious is the way Face ID stays relevant over time and updates its face models.


And as to all of those concerns that Face ID might be used by others to unlock your phone against your will? Well, the paper says you need to open your eyes and look directly in the phone, but Face ID is so quick that even a glance might be sufficient, so there really are no guarantees. As a safety measure, you can click the side buttons to put the phone in shutdown mode, which disables Face ID.

And this is important also when you use Apple Pay. You will not send a payment by simply looking at your phone, but you will also need to double click the power key before you use the phone at a terminal.

You can read the full paper with all the details right below.

Related phones

iPhone X
  • Display 5.8" 1125 x 2436 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 7 MP front
  • Processor Apple A11 Bionic, Hexa-core, 2390 MHz
  • Storage 256 GB
  • Battery 2716 mAh(21h 3G talk time)

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7 Comments

1. dubaiboy78

Posts: 446; Member since: Sep 19, 2014

This is the future!!!! Iphonearena

2. tangbunna

Posts: 480; Member since: Sep 29, 2016

hello 3D printer. Face ID will love you more.

7. Xilam unregistered

They already explained that even using proffecianly made masks of real people (they even showed those masks) it did not unlock.

3. talon95

Posts: 998; Member since: Jul 31, 2012

I have the feeling there are many millions of Muslim women in the world and any of them who cover their face in public won't be getting an X if they want to use their phone anywhere but at home. Face ID is fine, but losing touch ID is too much of a compromise. I think Apple will learn a lot when the X goes public.

5. viandrona

Posts: 19; Member since: Jul 03, 2016

Then I guess they should um... Just... Uncover their faces? OMG, sacrilege! Blasphemy! *Laughs in orthodox eastern european*

8. MrShazam

Posts: 987; Member since: Jun 22, 2017

Yeah, this is where Iris scanner shows its supremacy. It even works with a balaclava on during the winter.

6. buccob

Posts: 2968; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

I wonder why the iPhone X can't discern between twins, given that the tech is very similar to Microsoft Hello with Intel's realsense cameras... and those were proven to differentiate logins between identical twins...

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