Apple Face ID: Tech professionals unsure about security benefits, research says

IT professionals are unsure about the security benefits of Apple’s new Face ID technology, which can be used to unlock the tech giant’s new iPhone X.

Unveiled during a glitzy launch event in September, Face ID facial recognition technology has been touted by Apple as a security breakthrough for its customers. Apple says that the probability of someone unlocking your phone with Face ID is 1 in 1 million, compared to 1 in 50,000 for Apple’s Touch ID technology, which uses a fingerprint.

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Nonetheless, research from data protection specialist Bitglass indicates that there is still a question mark over Face ID for many people working in technology. Some 60 percent of over 200 IT and security professionals surveyed at the recent Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in Orlando said they have reservations about Face ID.

“A majority of IT and security professionals have reservations about Apple’s Face ID technology as a viable method of secure mobile authentication,” said Bitglass, in a statement. “Traditional authentication methods like passcodes, PIN codes and fingerprint recognition are familiar and trusted by enterprises, while facial recognition technologies remain unproven.”

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Top concerns about Face ID included accuracy of face detection, prevention of unauthorized access, and speed of face detection, according to Bitglass.

This is not the first time that these worries have been voiced. In September Sen. Al Franken, D-MN., wrote to Apple CEO Tim Cook requesting information on how Face ID will affect users’ privacy and security, and whether the technology will perform equally well on different groups of people.

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In a response sent last month, Apple explained in detail how Face ID works and assured consumers that their information will be safe.

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has also voiced his concern that Face ID technology could be used to unlock someone’s phone against their will. However, the latest version of Apple’s iPhone operating system, iOS 11, contains a fail-safe feature that can disable Touch ID and Face ID, requiring a passcode to unlock the phone.

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Face ID's ability to distinguish between twins has also been put to the test in early reviews, with varying results.

Fox News has reached out to Apple with a request for comment on this story.

Apple’s iPhone X will be available Friday.

Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers