New developments in face recognition ID for the iPhone are igniting questions around security.
What happens if people can access our phones by using our faces while we are asleep or daydreaming, what if our doppelgangers (and we all have them I'm afraid) take an interest in our phones, what if we are forced to offer up our faces for access to our phones..? Perhaps this sounds a little far-fetched, but we would hope that the technology is designed to mitigate the risks in this area.
Then there are questions about the use and storage of the data. Will we become the focus of advertising campaigns for plastic surgery, new spectacles and dental remedies? Which third parties will this information be shared with? What if the authorities want this information as part of investigations? Where will this information be stored, will it be accessible (to whom) and how will it be protected?
The strong likelihood is that all of these questions will have been anticipated and dealt with by Apple to a certain extent, but the questions raised by these new developments are fascinating nonetheless.
Face ID, which uses a Kinect-like system to scan the user’s face and only lets a matching faceprint unlock the phone, is being treated with some skepticism in the tech community. An onstage flub during the iPhone event didn’t help, but there are some usability concerns (how do you unlock your phone while it’s on the table a couple of feet away? Surely not a PIN?) and privacy ones as well.