A 10-year-old boy reportedly tricked the iPhone X’s facial recognition system into unlocking because he looks enough like his mother.
One of the main selling points for Apple’s newly released smartphone, Face ID, is a biometric security function that allows users to lock and unlock their devices with just their unique facial characteristics and measurements. A number of customers and researchers have tried to fool the system by exploiting potential loopholes in the advanced technology.
Ammar Malik, the 10-year-old son of Attaullah Malik and Sana Sherwani, was able to do that just by picking up his mother’s iPhone X.
The whole point of the Face ID feature is that only one person — the true owner — would be able to access the device, giving it superior protections to most other smartphones. But due to the family’s ability to find a simple workaround, Face ID may not be as full-fledged as Apple originally thought.
“Now my wife has to delete her texts when there’s something she doesn’t want Ammar to look at,” Attaullah said, according to WIRED. “It was funny at first. 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.”
A group of Vietnamese hackers were reportedly able to defeat Face ID through a highly complicated technique, but many others have failed. Nevertheless, Apple has admitted that twins, identical or not, may be able to circumvent the security system, reports WIRED. Even half-brothers seemed to have demonstrated their ability to bypass it with ease.
Ammar’s success may introduce a whole new problem, since he is, of course, a different gender and a vastly different age than his mother.
“We don’t want to disable Face ID. It’s very convenient. But this is a lot of hassle in terms of privacy,” Attaullah, who works as the director of technology operations at a tech firm called Taskstream, told WIRED. “If my son had access to my wife’s phone and she had that app on it, he could order ice cream for himself whenever he wanted,” he continued adding that Ammar is a “good kid” who gets great grades.
The family’s discovery could be just another setback for Apple, which has been hit with a litany of reports of technical issues in recent weeks.
From significant glitches in the new iOS 11 mobile operating system, a “crackling” or “static” noise emitted from the iPhone 8 when connected to an earpiece, to struggling cellular connectivity with the latest smartwatch, a great deal of Apple’s products and services for certain users are malfunctioning or defective. (RELATED: There Are At Least 7 Things Wrong With Apple’s Newer Software Update)
The most infamous defect seems to be with Apple’s iOS 11.1 in which users are complaining that the predictive text feature is automatically inputting the letter “A” along with another Webdings-esque character when the letter “I” is intended.
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