iOS and iPadOS 15 bring new improvements in Face ID security

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iOS and iPadOS15 bring new improvements in Face ID security
Before Apple’s ‘California Streaming’ event, there were some speculations that the iPhone 13 lineup will bring a new, improved generation of Face ID. The hope was that face recognition would work better with masks and foggy glasses.

Well, we didn’t get any such improvements, but thanks to a new document shared by Apple Support, we now know that Face ID will at least have more advanced security coming with iOS 15.

The update improves Face ID’s capability of figuring out whether it is actually you in front of the sensors and not just an image of you, being used by someone to get into your phone. It looks like Apple had recognized this as an issue and decided to act upon it.

The way this issue was handled was apparently through ‘improving Face ID anti-spoofing models.’ Here’s how Apple describes it in the document:

‘Available for devices with Face ID: iPhone X, iPhone XR, iPhone XS (all models), iPhone 11 (all models), iPhone 12 (all models), iPad Pro (11-inch), and iPad Pro (3rd generation)

Impact: A 3D model constructed to look like the enrolled user may be able to authenticate via Face ID

Description: This issue was addressed by improving Face ID anti-spoofing models.

CVE-2021-30863: Wish Wu (吴潍浠 @wish_wu) of Ant-financial Light-Year Security Lab’

As you can see from the quoted text above, this security improvement will thankfully come to all iPhones and iPads with Face ID, meaning no one will be left out with the outdated version.

It is still unfortunate that Apple’s face recognition technology did not receive any other improvements. Especially taking into account that there is no substitute like Touch ID.

Nevertheless, at least the notch that Face ID is housed in got smaller for the first time ever since the release of the iPhone X in 2017.
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