‘Face ID’ should not be the primary method to unlock a phone

Apple released its newest phone, the iPhone X on Nov. 3, 2017, taking away the imperative fingerprint authentication system, known as ‘Touch ID’, that was the primary method of unlocking a phone. Replaced with it is ‘Face ID’, an unpromising system that uses one’s face to unlock their phone and validate payments.

The new ‘Face ID’ feature as well as the ‘Touch ID’ uses one’s measurable biological characteristics, known as biometric qualities. Touch ID reformed security and convenience through biometrics and also created a system that people began to use as an alternate method to coded passwords. After Touch ID was created, the amount of people with a password on their phone increased, therefore it does not make sense that it is being abolished.

 Now, with the lack of a home button for fingerprint identification, biometric qualities create the issue of the security of data and false biometrics, made in attempt to sabotage Face ID.

While Touch ID also uses biometric security, it is much more challenging for one to find accurate fingerprints of an individual through physical contact and the Internet. With Face ID, a spoofer can access photos from social media and hack one’s security discreetly.

In 2016, The University of North Carolina showed how they found “pictures from social media to create animated 3D models in virtual reality, which were used to bypass face recognition,” during a Usenix Security Symposium. The study showed that using 3D printers, meticulous hackers could find ways to get around the facial recognition system to unlock and gain access to personal pictures, texts, emails and bank accounts.

One’s personal information such as bank accounts and confidential emails are not worth being risked for an identification system that has yet to prove to be as effective as Touch ID.

Many companies who endorse facial recognition claim that there is a probability of one in a million for someone to to randomly look at your phone and unlock it. Although this is true, it is simply irrelevant. The controversy is whether a thief or hacker could intentionally access a device and whether it compromises one’s own personal safety, not the probability of a random person looking at a phone and unlocking it.

Facial features cannot be changed once they have been compromised and to protect one’s own security using only Face ID gives users no other biometric option if their phone is somehow broken into.

While Face ID is a new advance for technology it is unnecessary and inconvenient for features that people are comfortable with such as Touch ID to be removed from phones altogether. Having a safe and reliable process that guards one’s private data such as banking information is important and not an opportunity for companies to experiment with new security systems.