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Apple's iPhone facial ID defeated by 10-year-old

Boy can log in to his Mom's iPhone X
Posted at 6:36 PM, Nov 14, 2017

Apple's new iPhone X comes with facial recognition for the first time ever in an iPhone. The company says it is almost impossible to hack.

But not so, says a 10-year-old boy, and his claim has a lot of people concerned.

YouTube video raises concerns

A video of a Staten Island, New York, family is going viral, because it appears to show a 10-year-old boy unlocking his mom's locked iPhone with his facial characteristics.

"I'm gonna unlock this phone using my handsome face," the boy says holding the phone up. A moment later, he is jubilant.

"Tada, it's unlocked," he says, then taking a bow, or dab.

Students at the University of Cincinnati have been sharing the stunning video, and wondering if they want to use Apple's facial recognition login just yet.

"It's not perfect quite yet, so I wouldn't use any sensitive data on facial recognition," Kayla Coleman said.

"Everyone pretty much puts all their information nowadays on their phones so they could access passwords, credit card numbers, all your accounts, so that's scary," Caleb Cannon said.

How safe is facial recognition?

Facial recognition experts, however, say the average person really doesn't have anything to worry about.

Computer science professor Dr. Shomir Wilson, of the University of Cincinnati, says "the odds of a random person unlocking your phone is one in a million. But someone like your twin or sibling is not a random person."

Dr Wilson, who has studied facial recognition programs, says Apple's system is incredibly good: simply scanning a photo of your face, or a even a dummy model of someone won't unlock a phone.

You have to be alive, awake, and slightly moving to turn the phone on.

But he says it can fall short with close siblings or children. His advice? "If you don't trust your twin, you might want to turn it off and use the passcode instead."

Dr Wilson, however, says he trusts Apple's facial ID, and says he's sure Apple will fix this glitch with its next update.

That way you don't waste your money.


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