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The Security Behind Apple’s New Face ID

November 20th, 2017

Launched to limited release on November 3, the iPhone X is an exclusive handset in every sense of the word. As the handset commemorating the 10th anniversary of the very first iPhone, it represents the pinnacle of Apple design after a decade of evolution. Its production delays mean very few people will get their hands on the X initially, and its price tag (a whopping $1,319 here in Canada) further restricts how many people will make the upgrade.

Although the crew at Absolute Destruction & Recycling Corp. is surprised by the price of the new iPhone as much as anyone, there’s another special feature of the X that tweaks our interest, considering our line of work. The iPhone X comes with a brand-new unlocking mechanism: Face ID.

How it works in the simplest terms:

How is a good question! The handset’s camera is more than just a tool to snap the perfect selfie. Equipped with the company’s TrueDepth sensor, it combines several functions. In addition to a straight-up camera, it has ambient light and proximity sensors, an infrared camera, flood illuminator, and dot projector.

This means several things. For one thing, the dot projector sends out 30,000 infrared dots to record the contours of your face on its first scan. On every subsequent scan, it will compare any face to this original map. As a result, it won’t be fooled by look-a-likes (unless you have an identical twin) or a flat photograph of your face. It needs all 3 dimensions to unlock the phone.

The ambient light sensor, infrared camera, and flood illuminator makes the TrueDepth capable of scanning faces in the dark. It’s also been specially designed to avoid facial recognition bias, so it can scan a variety of skin tones successfully.

How secure is it?

Despites its innovative tech, the iPhone X has drawn a lot of concern over its security. Last month Senator Al Franken asked Apple ten multi-faceted questions about the security around Face ID. In response, the Cupertino-based company published two documents, the Face ID security white paper and the Knowledge Base article.

While we suggest anyone using Absolute’s shredding services in Barrie and the rest of the GTA to read these documents in full, we’ll summarize the points here. In essence, Apple stores any biometric data and mathematical algorithm based off of your face in something called a Secure Enclave. This a protected part of each individual device that has no communication with the cloud, meaning no data ever leaves the phone. Any data stored on the Secure Enclave is encrypted.

With this protection and the subtlety of the TrueDepth scanners makes the iPhone one of the most secure phones in the world. Apple claims the chances of someone being able to hack your Face ID is roughly one in one million, compared to one in 50,000 for Touch ID.

 Are you ready to upgrade?

If you’re at the end of your term and looking for a new phone, the iPhone X is an enticing handset — and not just because of its security features. Just remember, when you’re ready to upgrade, don’t throw out your old phone. Like any obsolete electronics, we can destroy it to eliminate any chances of someone finding your data. We’ll also recycle it properly to make sure your old tech doesn’t pollute the world as e-waste.

Our commitment to recycling is just one of the many services we provide to our customers in the GTA. To learn more about what we do, check out these FAQs. Then give us a call on your brand-new X or a scuffed-up Galaxy S5 — anything works! We can set up a convenient shredding time that works with your busy schedule.

 

 

Entry Filed under: Community,Document Shredding,Document Shredding Regulations

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