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Apple’s New FaceID Might Make It Easier For Police To Access Your iPhone X

Apple’s New FaceID Might Make It Easier For Police To Access Your iPhone X

John Koetsier, Contributor

Apple revealed its new FaceID today in the Steve Jobs theater on its campus in Cupertino, California. Law enforcement officials who have had trouble unlocking Apple phones in the past must be salivating at the news.

While in one way FaceID is more secure than the company’s TouchID, which uses your fingerprint to open your phone, it’s also more insecure.

The chance of someone else’s fingerprint unlocking your phone, Apple says, is less than one in 50,000, but the chance of someone else’s face unlocking your phone is less than one in 1,000,000. However, touching your fingerprint to your phone is a voluntary act that is easy to not do unless physically forced.

Aiming your face at your phone will be harder to resist.

Of course, Apple has built technology into FaceID — which also enables purchases and can eliminate the need for passwords — to make this challenging.

FaceID will not unlock your phone unless your eyes are open, for instance. Averting your face will also block the technology. This means that you’ll be able to try to resist unlocking your phone.

However, a persistent law enforcement agent who holds your iPhone X in your face for an extended period of time, or who surprises you with it, is likely to be able to catch an unguarded moment and be able to unlock your phone.

That could be a good thing or could be a bad thing, depending on where you sit on the personal privacy versus public safety debate.