Reuters: Apple to share some facial recognition data with developers

Reuters: Apple to share some facial recognition data with developers
Privacy experts are up in arms today after Apple stated that some of the data mined by the facial recognition system on the iPhone X will be released to developers to help them build apps and games. For example, the data would be useful to help developers build games with characters that mirror the user's facial expressions. According to a dispatch released today by Reuters, Apple is allowing developers to grab a "rough map" of the user's face along with 50 different expressions. The developer must get customer permission to obtain the facial data, and also must promise not to sell it to a third party.

Back in September, Apple unveiled its tenth anniversary model. At the same time, it introduced the new Face ID feature that uses facial recognition to unlock the phone, and verify the user's identity for Apple Pay. At the time, Apple pointed out that facial recognition data stays on each individual phone. But with permission, developers will be allowed to keep the data on their servers.

The data being released (with user permission, of course) is not used to unlock the phone or to prove the iPhone X user's identity. Those features don't use a map of a user's face, but are based on complex mathematical formulas that are used to form a representation of what someone looks like. Privacy groups like the American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Democracy and Technology are concerned about Apple sharing this data with developers. The company maintains that it has effective tools to make sure developers stay in line, including the option of kicking certain developers and their apps off the App Store.


This could be just the start of talk between groups like the ACLU and Apple. While Face ID is only available for now on the $1,000+ Apple iPhone X, next year all new iPhone models are expected to carry the facial recognition system.

source: Reuters

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iPhone X
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22 Comments

1. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

"The developer must get customer permission to obtain the facial data" Because they can't use it discreetly? "and also must promise notto sell it to a third party." Just a mere promise? How about signing an NDA or a clause?

9. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2248; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

It does appear to be a legal contract, according to the source: "Apple allows developers to take certain facial data off the phone as long as they agree to seek customer permission and not sell the data to third parties, among other terms in a contract seen by Reuters."

2. maherk

Posts: 6673; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Can we stop spreading rumours as if they are facts? How do Reuters know this? And it will be fun watching all the android fanboys, who will never have any interest in this phone, flood this article with their childish comments.

3. gigicoaste

Posts: 430; Member since: Feb 21, 2016

Honestly I actually believe you are looking for such flood since you are saying it in all apple articles. I don't think that you must hold on something to share an opinion. But people like you are always entertained by trolls.. obvious you are one of them. As per first comment, a more contractual approach should be done instead of relying on promises.

4. maherk

Posts: 6673; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

You obviously took me for someone else buddy, this is the 1st comment I make on this matter in God knows when. If you have any proof that says otherwise, I'll be waiting for it.

5. mikehunta727 unregistered

Lol whos mans is that

7. gigicoaste

Posts: 430; Member since: Feb 21, 2016

nope, you are right! my bad.. sorry for confusing you with someone else. Your avatar tricked me.. but.. I will not use it as excuse.

18. maherk

Posts: 6673; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

It's cool bro.

12. uncle_gadget

Posts: 1050; Member since: Sep 20, 2017

Aren't you an Android fan? Have you ever flooded an article with childish comments?

17. maherk

Posts: 6673; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Techie, the grandfather of all Android trolls, please, do me a favour and go annoy someone else. Fyi, being a fan is completely different than being a fanboy. Example for that, I'm an Android and Samsung fan, who appreciates other OEM's product. You, on the other hand, is a Samsung fanboy, who worships everything made by Samsung and insults those who doesn't. Get a life, you are a grown ass man that spends his life defending a piece of gadget.

6. peace247 unregistered

And later sell it to chinese...typical apple...

8. tedkord

Posts: 17076; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

They're only sharing how far down the neck the beard goes. Maybe info on the size of the man bun, too.

10. zebraman

Posts: 59; Member since: Sep 11, 2013

Apple should tell developers they won't be able to unlock the phone outdoors in direct sunlight. And that the iris scanner is more accurate

11. gamehead unregistered

"Shared with developers" Like the FBI. XD

13. uncle_gadget

Posts: 1050; Member since: Sep 20, 2017

In a few months we will be reading about the first dev who broke this agreement, that should not have been made anyways. Apple says all the data gained from Face ID, remains only on the users device and is not uploaded to any servers. So, none of Apple applications when installed asks for any permission to any part of your phone. Unlike ALL Android apps which at least list all the required permissions and its up to you to read them before you hit OK. Whether most people read or not isn't the point. They do have to make you aware. With Apple you have to have "blind trust". So where have we heard this before. Apple claim WiFi/Cellular data is not collected by Apple, only to find that a hacker found out, not only is it collected it is sent to Apple's servers. When are people gonna learn that Corporation, especially greedy ones can never be trusted?! Looks like Face ID is just a Gov't tool to get a copy of everyone face who buys this phone all in the name of Homeland Security. Other than Face Unlock, I don't know any application on Samsung phones that access the camera and sends any data to even the devs for the camera to be used for any purpose on this level.

15. Xilam unregistered

Why the front door, does the government need another picture of me? They have my photos and fingerprints with my drivers license, with my business license, my background and my financials are all available to government at a tap of a button. What’s the gain of getting another photo of me? Also if it’s based on whether the user ageees for app developer to access parts of my facial recognition data (or in full for the matter), then what is the problem? You don’t want apps to gain access then don’t let it - use the old fashion passcode. It’s been like so with FP sensors - I let my bank app use my FP to log in for the past 5 years (either on android or iPhone). Stop being such a whiny troll. You can’t even make a sound argument without ignoring provisions set forth.

16. mikehunta727 unregistered

Lol what the f**k are you saying dude when you download an app on iOS, all permissions are disabled by default until you enable them yourself with the app prompts Anyone who isnt on Marshmallow (hundreds of millions still) have no choice but to accept all app permissions or not be able to dowload the app as App Permissions came in 6.0

14. UglyFrank

Posts: 2188; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

This a warning to criminals to not upgrade I guess?

19. p51d007

Posts: 697; Member since: Nov 24, 2013

Let's see...they have our fingerprints, with the DNA websites, some have that, now they will have "some" of our facial features...with these new AI robots, won't be long til they can replace us.

20. ChaoticRage

Posts: 154; Member since: Jan 15, 2016

Can’t wait to try face ID. Think this will be great. I would share a link but PA sent a warning about including links. I’m little confused because I see some long post in the comments sometimes with maybe 3 links. Sometimes even 15 comments in a single article. Does anyone know how this works or is PA little unfair with their policy’s ?

22. GdgetXpert1337

Posts: 117; Member since: Oct 31, 2017

Man wake up sheep, you are being herded the iPhone is garbage because it is so overpriced for what it offers. Android has had face unlock for years now. and now sheep will be fine with their facial data being shared to the world very disapointing

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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