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Apple exec says squeezing your iPhone X will disable Face ID, stops thieves accessing data

By midian182 · 15 replies
Sep 15, 2017
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  1. Now that Apple has offered an explanation as to why the iPhone X’s Face ID failed onstage (it didn’t, apparently), a company exec has addressed a few more questions regarding the security feature, including how to stop a thief from unlocking a stolen phone.

    Apple claims the reason the $999 device didn’t unlock on Tuesday was because backstage staff had accidentally activated Face ID while moving the iPhone X around before the show. As it didn’t recognize them, the handset requested a passcode, which reportedly happens after just two failed attempts. This has led to questions over just how easy it is for Face ID to be activated—would a thief or police officer find it easier to unlock someone’s iPhone X compared to a device that used only fingerprint security?

    Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering and the man who struggled with Face ID earlier this week, addressed these issues when replying to an email from CEO and freelance video editor Keith Krimbel.

    "What will prevent a thief from taking my phone, pointing it at my face, and running?" asked Krimbel. Reiterating what he said at Apple’s event, Federighi explained that as long as you don’t stare at the phone, it won’t unlock.

    The other solution, however, was something Apple had not previously revealed, and could help ensure you’re not somehow forced to look at the screen. "If you grip the buttons on both sides of the phone when you hand it over, it will temporarily disable Face ID," said Federighi.

    Apple hasn’t responded to questions about this squeeze-to-lock function, so we don’t know how long it will stop Face ID from working. It’s unlikely that everyone will remember to disable the feature when they’re being robbed, but at least it’s there as an option.

    Another part of the letter asks whether Face ID functions correctly when a user is wearing sunglasses. "With most, but not all," explained Federighi. "Most sunglasses let through enough IR (Infra-red) light that Face ID can see your eyes even when the glasses appear to be opaque. It's really amazing!"

    Permalink to story.

     
  2. amstech

    amstech IT Overlord Posts: 2,096   +1,260

    And what if you can't squeeze the phone before you get mugged and they hold you down to unlock your phone?
     
  3. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 4,999   +3,409

    And unlike Charmin, it's probably not going to do very well for cleaning up the bum's!
     
  4. andy06shake

    andy06shake TS Evangelist Posts: 489   +159

    So what happens when you put the thing in a pair of tight fitting Jeans as the majority of users will inevitably do?
     
  5. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 2,111   +1,532

    What about beards :p
     
  6. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,285

    "What will prevent a thief from taking my phone, pointing it at my face, and running?" asked Krimbel. Reiterating what he said at Apple’s event, Federighi explained that as long as you don’t stare at the phone, it won’t unlock.
    What if there's a Desert Eagle behind the phone? Will it still unlock if the poor sap's face is a mask of terror?
     
  7. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,285

    Well then they put it in a pocket closest to the groin and set vibration mode to flat out for as long as possible.
     
  8. andrewdoyle88

    andrewdoyle88 TS Addict Posts: 135   +125

    Ladies and Gentleman, Mr. Conway Twitty
     
  9. Brenton

    Brenton TS Member Posts: 21

    Face recognition seems pointless to me. When the thumb print scanners came out they were such a great idea and just made perfect sense, with this I feel like it's just a feature thats been created just for the hell of it
     
  10. Indeed, as would be recommended against in the safety section of the user manual, to always keep the phone at distance from the body.
     
    andy06shake likes this.
  11. Seriously! I mean how are people with ski masks and burqas supposed to use that feature?
     
  12. MonsterZero

    MonsterZero TS Evangelist Posts: 546   +297

    Sure they handcuff you and then one officer holds your head still while the other points the phone at your face.
     
  13. commanderasus

    commanderasus TS Addict Posts: 225   +98

    Does any body make a cell phone that actually makes phone calls just by pressing the number buttons? Face ID, Fingerprint ID. It is a phone NOT a portable TSA airport scanner.
     
  14. andy06shake

    andy06shake TS Evangelist Posts: 489   +159

    I imagine that would make holding the device a rather awkward task. LoL
     
  15. andy06shake

    andy06shake TS Evangelist Posts: 489   +159

    Sounds about right. ;)
     
  16. RealShady

    RealShady TS Rookie

    What makes you think people can't force you to give your passcode? When Tyrone points his 9 at your head you will do anything he says.

    This really is a non-issue.
     

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