iPhone X’s latest screen unlocking feature, Face ID, uses a 3D model of users’ faces that includes more than 30,000 points. The face-mapping tech’s primary goal is to ensure the device is unlocked only by the phone’s owner. Apple used the face map to create animojis that mimic the phone owner’s facial expressions and now wants app developers to have full access to the data.
However, by sharing the data with app makers, many privacy issues arise. Apps could tell by just looking at your face if you’re in good mood or depressed. They can also identify your race, age, and even sexual orientation. Apps could track you on the street and in stores.
Apple Taking Face ID -linked Privacy Concerns ‘Very Seriously’
When contacted by The Washington Post, Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr assured the news outlet that the company takes privacy “very seriously”. Neumayr underlined that FaceID data is protected by the Secure Enclave technology and other safeguards included in the phone’s operating system.
Apple has repeatedly assured users that it doesn’t plan to make a profit from selling their data. The company’s primary source of revenue is hardware. However, app developers that get the data from Apple may not share this core value and the user’s info could fall into the wrong hands.
Security experts warn that sharing freely facial data with third-parties could pave the way to a lot of mischief. Fortunately, iPhone X’s facial data is stored on the handset, rather than on Apple’s servers for now, but that could soon change as other mobile phone makers may not want to follow suit.
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