Apple’s upcoming iPhone 8 will probably let you unlock it with facial recognition, and security experts tell Mashable that’s a terrible idea. Current facial recognition technology, like the kind that unlocks a Samsung Galaxy S8, can be fooled by a photo. Samsung pretends this is no big deal, but this gimmick creates a false sense of security that many consumers won’t know is about as secure as “swipe to unlock”.
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It gets worse. If Apple enables no-touch facial recognition, as is also rumoured, that could mean the device is always watching, just as Siri is always listening, creating another potential security hole that could turn the iPhone into an excellent spying device for hackers.
There’s also some worry about tech giants building databases of everyone’s face, but we crossed that bridge years ago. Google, Apple and Facebook all recognise faces in your photos. Snapchat doesn’t recognise specific faces, but the moment they wanted to, they’d have millions of willing participants. As facial recognition helps marketers target their ads, the technology is slowly invading public spaces, and there’s not much we can do about it but wear exotic makeup patterns.
But at least we can avoid relying on facial recognition as a security measure. Phone makers are only so crazy, so they will keep offering more secure (if still imperfect) options such as fingerprint recognition and passcodes. Keep using those. Your face is way too public to be your password.