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U.S. Senator raises privacy and security concerns about Apple’s Face ID


U.S. Senator Al Franken has raised concerns regarding the privacy and security of Apple’s Face ID feature in its upcoming iPhone X smartphone, according to a report by Engadget.

Franken recently penned a letter addressed to Apple CEO Tim Cook, containing several questions concerning the technology’s “eventual uses that may not be contemplated by” its customers.

Apple stated during its keynote that Face ID information will be saved only be saved on the device itself.

However, Senator Franken has asked Apple whether it is possible for the company or a third party to access and save the biometric data either remotely or through physical access to a user’s iPhone.

Franken asked Apple to detail all the security measures it has implemented to ensure that Face ID cannot be fooled by masks and photographs.

He also inquired about where Apple found the one billion face images it used to train the Face ID algorithm, and asked for assurance that Apple won’t use the faceprints of its users for other purposes.

But perhaps most crucial, Franken asked the company to disclose what it plans to do in the event that law enforcement requests Face ID data.

Aside from asking questions about security, Franken asked Apple to detail the measures it took to ensure that “its system was trained on a diverse set of faces, in terms of race, gender and age.”

Franken has asked Apple to respond to his questions by October 13th, although it remains to be seen whether Apple will even choose to reply to the letter.

Previously reported, in choosing to replace its existing Touch ID fingerprint authentication with the new Face ID facial recognition feature for the upcoming iPhone X, Apple decided to gamble on a strategy that would force companies that support Touch ID in their apps to move to Face ID.

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