Face ID on iPhone X is going to be safer than you might think

Apple executive Craig Federighi has confirmed that there will be a way to temporarily disable Face ID by pressing the side buttons on the iPhone X.

Face ID is one of the big talking points coming off the back of the iPhone X announcement this week. The new flagship from Apple will use a scan of your face to open, replacing the Touch ID fingerprint scanner.

While the technology behind it seems to be well thought out, there was an immediate backlash that the implications of it perhaps weren’t. On social media, there were many people raising concerns that using your face as a password leaves you vulnerable to people unlocking your phone without your consent. 

One of the things that potentially safeguards against Apple users having their devices taken off them is the fact that its security is pretty robust. If a mugger is able to take your $1,000 dollar device out of your hand, point it at your face and have access to it, that safeguard is significantly diminished.

Theft and sunglasses

Trying to address these concerns, Twitter user Keith Krimbel contacted Apple exec Craig Federighi to see if he could give clarification on the security measures. You can see Federighi’s response below:

It’s interesting to note that even if the phone is taken off you without you being able to access the buttons, you may still be able to keep your device safe, by not looking at the phone. 

That’s right, it seems that the iPhone X will only unlock if you’re actually looking at the screen. Interestingly, in the same email Craig manages to allay fears about sunglasses stopping this from working. 

Apparently most sunglasses allow enough infrared through that the sensor will be able to detect whether you’re looking at the screen even when wearing sunglasses.

So you can look cool and be safe if you choose to take the plunge on the iPhone X when it comes out later this year. 

Via Slashgear

Andrew London

Andrew London is a writer at Velocity Partners. Prior to Velocity Partners, he was a staff writer at Future plc.