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Apple Recommends Children Under 13, Twins and Siblings Do Not Use Face ID On iPhone X (theguardian.com) 120

According to a security guide published Wednesday, Apple recommends that children under the age of 13 do not use Face ID on the iPhone X due to the probability of a false match being significantly higher for young children. The company said this was because "their distinct facial features may not have fully developed." They also recommend that twins and siblings do not use the new feature. The Guardian reports: In all those situations, the company recommends concerned users disable Face ID and use a passcode instead. With Face ID, Apple has implemented a secondary system that exclusively looks out for attempts to fool the technology. Both the authentication and spoofing defense are based on machine learning, but while the former is trained to identify individuals from their faces, the latter is used to look for telltale signs of cheating. "An additional neural network that's trained to spot and resist spoofing defends against attempts to unlock your phone with photos or masks," the company says. If a completely perfect mask is made, which fools the identification neural network, the defensive system will still notice -- just like a human.
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Apple Recommends Children Under 13, Twins and Siblings Do Not Use Face ID On iPhone X

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  • by kamapuaa ( 555446 ) on Thursday September 28, 2017 @07:24PM (#55273155) Homepage

    Do they really need to specify both twins and siblings?

    • Re:-1 Redundant (Score:4, Insightful)

      by thegreatbob ( 693104 ) on Thursday September 28, 2017 @07:52PM (#55273313) Journal
      Might have been better worded like "siblings, especially twins, ..."
      • by Anonymous Coward

        Apple's new courage:

        Telling kids they were born wrong.

      • About 20% of American families have only one child, but that is only about 10% of births. Roughly another 10% of the population, mostly elderly, have no living brothers or sisters. The other 80% of the population are siblings.

        Disclaimer: I have siblings, but they don't look like me.

        • by Zalbik ( 308903 )

          Disclaimer: I have siblings, but they don't look like me.

          You should ask your mom about that sometime :-)

        • Disclaimer: I have siblings, but they don't look like me.

          Good for them - who wants to look like an asshole?

    • I was wondering about this from another standpoint. What if you set-up Face-ID at the age of 10 and by the time you reach 12/13 your face has elongated enough that you can no-longer unlock your device. The twins thing I get but surely the security is flawed if a mere sibling (Yes they look similar but not identical) can unlock your device.

      I should safe my brother grew up resembling the milk man

      • I was wondering about this from another standpoint. What if you set-up Face-ID at the age of 10 and by the time you reach 12/13 your face has elongated enough that you can no-longer unlock your device.

        Well, you could have read the fucking report by Apple, but you chose to look like an idiot instead (and no, that doesn't mean any idiot could unlock your iPhone).

        To improve unlock performance and keep pace with the natural changes of your face and look, Face ID augments its stored mathematical representation over time. Upon successful unlock, Face ID may use the newly calculated mathematical representation—if its quality is sufficient—for a finite number of additional unlocks before that data is discarded. Conversely, if Face ID fails to recognize you, but the match quality is higher than a certain threshold and you immediately follow the failure by entering your passcode, Face ID takes another capture and augments its enrolled Face ID data with the newly calculated mathematical representation. This new Face ID data is discarded after a finite number of unlocks and if you stop matching against it. These augmentation processes allow Face ID to keep up with dramatic changes in your facial hair or makeup use, while minimizing false acceptance.

  • siblings? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by fred6666 ( 4718031 ) on Thursday September 28, 2017 @07:24PM (#55273161)

    Like most people on Earth?

    • Re:siblings? (Score:4, Informative)

      by will_die ( 586523 ) on Thursday September 28, 2017 @08:26PM (#55273465) Homepage
      Apple did specify "siblings that look like you", it was the guardian in their normal high level of professionalism that decided to make it look like Apple was stupid by ignoring the rest.
      • Apple did specify "siblings that look like you",

        Yes, but what they mean is siblings that look like you according to an algorithm which also thinks that all kids under 13 look alike. This doesn't exactly inspire much confidence especially if this is the algorithm protecting your Apple Pay cards on your phone. Mind you at the price they are charging you probably won't have much money left on those cards for your look alike to access.

        • Yes, but what they mean is siblings that look like you according to an algorithm which also thinks that all kids under 13 look alike.

          Not exactly... There is a higher probability of false matches due to fewer distinguishing features, but that doesn't mean all of them look alike. Just that there are more groupings of look-alikes than with adults.

      • by houghi ( 78078 )

        That is still a huge percentage. Basically they say "Do not use it if you look like somebody else" sounds like "You are holding it wrong".

    • What about sheep ?
      You can't make a safe distinction between sheep's faces.
      So why did Apple implement this face recognition is beyond me.

  • Buy the 8, SE, 7 or 6S (or Droid) and vote with your wallet against this half arsed system AND save a bundle in the process.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      I would like to subscribe to your newsletter
    • Buy the 8, SE, 7 or 6S (or Droid) and vote with your wallet against this half arsed system AND save a bundle in the process.

      To vote with your wallet, you need to buy from another party. Otherwise they think you just arent rich enough and will want it when it gets cheaper.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The wonderful trend of feature-removal in the modern computing and electronics world. Take a feature like using a fingerprint, and then instead of ADDING facial recognition, REPLACE the fingerprint technology, which worked pretty darn well, with something that doesn't work properly for massive portions of the population. We have sheephumping morons running, and ruining, everything...

  • Before going it the NSA database.
  • I remember seeing those Snapchat face filters and being like "Here comes the Man." But in this instance, I really don't see how the privacy thing enters into it. The Secure Enclave on iOS is the real deal down at the hardware level in these phones; I don't see anyone (well, I haven't looked to hard either) thinking the government(s?) are making a vast fingerprint DB with Touch ID profiles...and Face ID is same technology just with a different input.
  • to a child under 13 ? The chances of it being lost or stolen are quite high!

    • by PPH ( 736903 )

      So they can go to school without having to hang their heads in shame.

    • The chances of it being lost or stolen are quite high!

      Even more so now that apparently any other kid under 13 can unlock it!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Its because they are pushing the data somewhere. Those under 13 fall under the Child online protection Act so apple wants none of that.

  • by sexconker ( 1179573 ) on Thursday September 28, 2017 @08:02PM (#55273355)

    It's all bullshit. Whatshisfuck stood on stage and claimed that it was orders of magnitude more secure and reliable than TouchID. What happened?

    If a completely perfect mask is made, which fools the identification neural network, the defensive system will still notice -- just like a human.

    Nope. If a "perfect" mask is made, the defensive system won't notice. And neither will a human. And if a "good" mask is made, the defensive system won't notice, but a human will.

    Your system isn't usable for children under 13 because "their distinct facial features may not have fully developed"? Bullshit. It isn't usable because it doesn't work well. 12 year olds have faces as distinct as any other human face, far more distinct than a fingerprint, etc. You are using a high res 3D ("depth sensing") camera, thousands of points of detection, etc., etc., right?

    If you can't distinguish 2 faces your shit is broken.
    If you can't recognize 1 face as being the same your shit is broken.
    If you can't walk the line between false positives and false negatives, you lie and dream up some shit about a defensive mechanism that's always working even when Face ID isn't working right, or Face ID not working because your faces haven't aged to distinction yet.

    Bullllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllshiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit!

    • It's all bullshit. Whatshisfuck stood on stage and claimed that it was orders of magnitude more secure and reliable than TouchID. What happened?

      What happened is 1 or more people looked at the phone in its locked state backstage and it rolled over to passcode only, it was actually a good demo of how secure it is.

      Nope. If a "perfect" mask is made, the defensive system won't notice. And neither will a human. And if a "good" mask is made, the defensive system won't notice, but a human will.

      while getting a perfect 3-d scan of the persons face and making a 3-d printed model may work - on the other hand, pun intended, lifting a fingerprint from anywhere and using it to unlock an iphone touch sensor [arstechnica.com] is trivially easy, children have defeated it by touching it against their sleeping parents hand. Cops can force you to touch unlock

      • What happened is 1 or more people looked at the phone in its locked state backstage and it rolled over to passcode only, it was actually a good demo of how secure it is.

        So users of this phone will have to be careful not to allow the camera to see other people's faces or it will 'false negative' on them and automatically lock? That makes little sense.

        I bet, though, that when the face recognition feature failure occurred during the demo, they were ready, Apple probably had a team ready and waiting to fabricate whatever the most plausible explanation would be for any on-stage incident during the presentation. They probably have focus groups ready and waiting to bounce their stories off of. The marketing shit is really, really important at Apple, because it's the basis of their high markups.

        • 99% of the time when I'm using my phone, I'm the only one to look at it locked so this feature would work for me. It can't be people from across the room, you need to be roughly 6" to 2' away, face the phone and roughly center yourself - something you would do naturally just holding it and looking at it. I'm not sure id want too use it for other reasons, I do prefer pass codes. Also, having done tech demos myself in front of a large audience, I have some sympathy for things going wrong even if you rehear
    • It's all bullshit. Whatshisfuck stood on stage and claimed that it was orders of magnitude more secure and reliable than TouchID. What happened?

      "More" is not necessarily more than a lot. A condom you had in your back pocket for a month is also more secure than "don't worry honey, I'll pull out".

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      I don't know if faces are more unique than fingerprints or not, but the more important difference is how they are measured. Fingerprint scanners are quite mature now, where as face scanning with a camera in varying lighting conditions, angles and the like is still not even good enough to differentiate human children reliably.

      Imagine if human parents couldn't tell their children's faces apart... Anyone with identical twins will attest to what chaos that can cause.

      • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

        I don't know if faces are more unique than fingerprints or not, but the more important difference is how they are measured. Fingerprint scanners are quite mature now, where as face scanning with a camera in varying lighting conditions, angles and the like is still not even good enough to differentiate human children reliably.

        Imagine if human parents couldn't tell their children's faces apart... Anyone with identical twins will attest to what chaos that can cause.

        That's why face scanning doesn't rely on a si

    • It's all bullshit. Whatshisfuck stood on stage and claimed that it was orders of magnitude more secure and reliable than TouchID. What happened?

      Apple claims that Touch ID has 1 in 50,000 chance of false positive, while Face ID is 1 in 1,000,000. A factor of 200 is indeed "orders of magnitude".

      I am however surprised that TouchID has only 1 in 50,000 chance of false positive.

      • The 1/50k number and 1/100k numbers are clearly just made up. The Touch ID figure is a pretty blatant lie, fingerprints aren't even that unique.
        And this article is proof that the 1/100k is also bullshit. Siblings for fucks sake!
        This reminds me so much of the Nuance voice auth system that was supposedly 1/10k false positive rate, but anybody could log on as anybody else by doing a half-assed impression of their voice.
    • It's all bullshit. Whatshisfuck stood on stage and claimed that it was orders of magnitude more secure and reliable than TouchID. What happened?

      If a completely perfect mask is made, which fools the identification neural network, the defensive system will still notice -- just like a human.

      Nope. If a "perfect" mask is made, the defensive system won't notice. And neither will a human. And if a "good" mask is made, the defensive system won't notice, but a human will.

      So it's just like with "perfect artificial fingerprints". And nobody uses those to unlock iPhones either, Yeah all you write is bullshit.

  • "Having a twin", "having at least one sibling", or "being under the age of 13", is just one of those unforeseeable contingencies Apple has had to contend with. It joins the likes of "being left handed", "the comic strip Dick Tracy being prior art to everything about the Apple Watch", and "heterosexuality".
  • We're doing something we think is cool, fuck whomever it doesn't work for.
  • If Apple didn't counter-indicate FaceID for children, they would probably be violating COPA - the act that makes it so companies cannot start fucking around with your data til you are 13. Well, at least, not as freely.

    • Supposedly, the data doesn't leave the phone; COPPA should not apply. That they spefically chose the age limit for COPPA tells me they believe it does apply and, since Apple's lawyers aren't likely to be idiots, that tells me the data probsbly leaves the phone.
    • If Apple didn't counter-indicate FaceID for children, they would probably be violating COPA - the act that makes it so companies cannot start fucking around with your data til you are 13. Well, at least, not as freely.

      If that is their concern, they will also soon recommend Europeans against it.

  • Everyone else recommends nobody use crappy gimmicks like Face ID.

  • I am blessed with young twin babies, they are not identical - boy and girl, so they should be different enough for the system. But in general even if they were identical, I would expect that most twins aren't split between good and evil, meaning in practice it wouldn t be an issue for each of them to use faceid on their own phone. It is a matter of trust if you mind that your twin cannot unlock your phone.
    Similarly my wife and I use touchid and we also know the passcode of each other's phone, sometimes it
  • I would recommend no one should use Face ID, or the IphoneX for that matter.

    The NSA thanks you for the updated face scans.

    • I thought that Apple had made it so that it's all done on the phone, and stored in the secure enclave, and it's a 'hash' of your face, not your actual face that gets stored anyway.

      As for the recommendation - I'd agree with you on all counts (but for different reasons).

      • This may be true, but I'd rather err on the side of caution.

        First we had Amazon Echo, now they have alarm clocks with camera's on them and now Apple with their FaceID. It's just all too much.

    • I would recommend no one should use Face ID, or the IphoneX for that matter.

      The NSA thanks you for the updated face scans.

      And don't get me started on what they can do with your Android ...

  • "If a completely perfect mask is made, which fools the identification neural network, the defensive system will still notice -- just like a human". If the mask or photo is "completely perfect" then how will it tell? If it can tell, then by definition the mask is not perfect.
  • I strongly suspect that the "not for kids under 13" is mainly to head off legal issues due to the US rules that kids under 13 need explicit parental permission to enroll in services that affect their privacy.

    That's also the reason why facebook and many other internet companies' terms and conditions all require you to be at least 13 to sign up as well, they simply don't want to have to deal with the hassle of verifying/validating and keeping records that an actual adult explicitly authorized their kid sign
  • I went to a trade fair, for IT in schools.

    Against my wishes, I was asked to research biometric logins.

    Pretty much every single stall that offered anything even remotely like that told me one thing (usually after much probing, or literally having to ask outright if it would work).

    They don't work reliably enough for kids. Fingerprints. Iris scans. Face recognition. Every vendor told me the same thing, but they weren't actually ADVERTISING that (obviously). They said they would be good enough for, say, a

  • ...Face ID sucks!
  • Know what would be nice? A face recognition app that tells me the name of the person I'm talking to. I have a little bit of trouble with faces, even when it comes to close friends, so it would be nice if I had some Augmented Reality overlay to tell me who they are when I haven't seen them for a while. Luckily, so far other people recognise me readily enough so that compensates for my deficiency.

    Now... if this app I'm suggesting could also tell identical twins apart... that would be awesome.

  • Here's the quote from the source:

    The probability that a random person in the population could look at your iPhone X and unlock it using Face ID is approximately 1 in 1,000,000 (versus 1 in 50,000 for Touch ID)... The probability of a false match is different for twins and siblings that look like you as well as among children under the age of 13, because their distinct facial features may not have fully developed. If you're concerned about this, we recommend using a passcode to authenticate.

    Until we have some third party testing on how easy it is to fool Face ID, I'm reserving judgment.

  • Apple confirms what I have thought for years. All kids look alike.

  • It doesn't work.

"The urge to destroy is also a creative urge." -- Bakunin [ed. note - I would say: The urge to destroy may sometimes be a creative urge.]

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