To unlock the new iPhone X, users will have no choice but to use their own face. There is no home button or touch swiping this phone to unlock it. The only option is the high-tech facial recognition system titled “Face ID,” a feature being criticized by many. An article from Business Insider is titled “You’ll need to use your face, instead of your fingerprints, to unlock the new iPhone X.”
According to Forbes:
Apple senior vice president Phil Schiller said “Face ID learns your face” and can adapt to recognize changes in the user’s appearance. Schiller said the TrueDepth camera system of the iPhone X combines a lot of high-end tech – an infrared camera, proximity and ambient light sensors, as well as a flood illuminator and Apple’s own specialized hardware – all mapping the face with 30,000 invisible dots flashed on the visage. That information feeds the iPhone X’s neural network, which creates a mathematical model of the user’s face.
What if a person is introverted or uncomfortable with surveillance? People already know to cover their cameras and microphones with duct tape to avoid being recorded. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg seems to think it’s necessary.
When it comes to Apple Pay, FaceID will turn into payment authentication, with the user’s own facial biometrics acting as verification for the transaction. It can also be used for access to a user’s more sensitive apps, including banking apps or others that keep track of financial data.
The feature, which Apple claims cannot be fooled by static images like a photo of someone’s face (it also won’t be tricked by someone wearing a mask, or growing a beard, etc) works by mapping a user’s face via infrared light.
The push for more surveillance friendly, power-centralizing features in technology seems to be an ongoing agenda.
Thankfully one thing activists and common people alike can agree upon is that surveillance is uncomfortable. Some understand the deepest ramifications of surveillance, and the potential for future court cases to cite people’s most private data to convict them of things that shouldn’t be crimes.
Some simply aren’t comfortable with using their face to unlock their phone. What about introverted or camera-shy people?
It’s strangely suspect to see this be such a prominent feature on such a highly anticipated device, because it would obviously benefit the surveillance state and intelligence agencies. It also seems impractical.
Hopefully people will exercise their ability to choose and opt out of technology that makes the work of malicious intelligence agencies so easy.