IN WHAT might seem like a neverending list of bad news for the iPhone X, a 10-year-old in the US appears to have been able to access his mum's phone due to a Face ID mismatch.
The boy, Ammar Malik, was simply trying to get a look at his mother's newly purchased iPhone X. However, upon picking it up, the phone logged him straight in, past the biometrically protected lock screen. Needless to say, his mum, Sana Sherwani, wasn't too impressed that her shiny new phone just gave access to all her personal data to her son.
"It was funny at first," Malik's father told Wired. "But it wasn't really funny afterward. My wife and I text all the time and there might be something we don't want him to see. Now my wife has to delete her texts when there's something she doesn't want Ammar to look at."
It's reported that Ammar also managed to fool his dad's iPhone X Face ID system too, but only on a single occasion.
More importantly, imagine the privacy implications if Ammar was the one with the phone, and he was six or seven years older than he is currently; no teenager wants their parent(s) to be able to access their smartphone at will.
After some additional testing, Sherwani found that re-registering her face in brighter conditions prevented her son from accessing the device - but that the error also returned if she registered it again in a lower light environment.
The 'lesson' parents should perhaps take away from this is to register Face ID in a bright room to minimise the chances of this becoming an issue.
More broadly, the accuracy and security of the system has repeatedly come under fire since its launch just a few short weeks ago.
Before the iPhone X went on sale, online reports suggested that Apple needed to reduce the quality of its Face ID components in order to be able to produce enough handsets ready for release. Apple denied these reports, but it certainly seems like the issues are materialising now.
In an earlier report this week, a Vietnamese security researcher claimed that Face ID can be tricked using a specially made mask.
Of course, it doesn't really help that it took Apple weeks to fix a bug that was causing the letter 'i' to not work on iOS devices too. µ
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