Everything you need to know about the iPhone's Face ID - CYDIAPLUS.com


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Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Everything you need to know about the iPhone's Face ID

Much of our digital life is stored on the iPhone and it is important that this information is protected. In the same way that Touch ID revolutionized fingerprint authentication , Face ID revolutionizes authentication using face recognition .

Face ID provides simple and secure authentication made possible by the advanced TrueDepth camera system featuring advanced technologies to accurately match your face geometry.

With a simple look, Face ID safely unlocks your iPhone X. You can use it to authorize purchases from the iTunes Store, the App Store and the iBooks Store as well as payments with Apple Pay. In addition, developers can allow you to use Face ID to connect to their applications. Apps that already support Touch ID will also automatically support Face ID.

Advanced technologies

The technology that supports Face ID is one of the most advanced hardware and software technologies that Apple has created so far. The TrueDepth camera collects accurate face data by viewing and analyzing over 30,000 invisible dots to create a depth map of your face and also imprints an infrared image of your face. A part of the A11 Bionic chip nervous mechanism - protected in Secure Enclave - converts the depth map and infrared image into a mathematical representation and compares this representation with the recorded face data.

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Face ID automatically adapts to changes in your appearance , such as when you wear a bead or a beard. If there is a more drastic change in your appearance, like shaving a rich beard, Face ID confirms your identity using your password before updating your person's data. Face ID is designed to work with hats, scarves, contact lenses, glasses and many kinds of sunglasses. In addition, it is designed to work indoors, outdoors, even in absolute darkness .

To start using Face ID, you must first register your face. You can do this during the initial configuration process or later by going to Settings> Face ID and Password. To unlock your iPhone X using Face ID, just look at it. Face ID requires the TrueDepth camera to see your face, whether your iPhone X is on a surface or you are holding it in your hands. The TrueDepth camera has a similar shooting range as when you take a picture or make a FaceTime call with the front camera. Face ID works best when the device has a distance as long as your arm or less than your face (25-50 cm from your face).

The TrueDepth camera is smartly activated, for example, by lifting your iPhone X to wake it up by tapping on the screen to wake it up or by an incoming alert that awakens the screen. Each time you unlock your iPhone X, the TrueDepth camera recognizes you by collecting accurate depth data as well as an infrared image. This information is matched to the stored math representation for authentication.


Face ID uses the TrueDepth camera as well as machine learning for a secure authentication solution. Face ID data - including your face mathematical representations - is encrypted and protected with a key that is only available in the Secure Enclave.

The chance that any person can look at your iPhone X and unlock it using Face ID is about 1 in 1,000,000 (vs. 1 in 50,000 for the Touch ID). For additional protection , Face ID only allows unsuccessful matching efforts before requesting a password. The statistical probability is different for twin brothers and sisters that resemble you as well as for children under 13 because the distinctive features of their face may not have been developed yet. If you are concerned about this issue, we recommend that you use a password for authentication.

Face ID performs mapping against depth information, which does not exist in 2D printed or digital photos. It is designed to provide protection against falsification by masks or other techniques through the use of sophisticated nerve networks protected against forgery. Face ID even detects your attention. Recognizes whether your eyes are open and looking towards the device. This makes it harder for someone to unlock your iPhone unknowingly (eg when you sleep).

To use Face ID, you need to set up a password on your iPhone. You will need to enter your password for additional security validation when:

  • It is only when you turn on or restart the device.
  • The device has not been unlocked for more than 48 hours.
  • The password has not been used to unlock the device for the last six days and Face ID has not unlocked the device in the last 4 hours.
  • The device has received a remote locking command.
  • After five unsuccessful attempts to match a person.
  • After switching on SOS / SOS Emergency, press and hold one of the Volume Down and Side Buttons buttons simultaneously for 2 seconds.

If you lose or steal your device, you can use the iPhone Finder Lost Feature to prevent using Face ID to unlock your device.


Face ID data - including facial mathematical representations - is encrypted and protected by the Secure Enclave. This data will be updated and improved as you use Face ID to improve your experience, including successful authentication. Face ID will also update this data when it detects a good match, but then a password is inserted to unlock the device.

Face ID data does not come out of your device and never backups are made on iCloud or anywhere else. This information will be transferred from your device only if you want to provide FaceCode diagnostic data to AppleCare for support. And even in this case, data is not automatically sent to Apple. You can first examine and approve the diagnostic data before sending it.

If you choose to register with Face ID, you can control how to use it or disable it whenever you want. For example, if you do not want to use Face ID to unlock your iPhone, open Settings> Face ID and Password> Use Face ID and disable iPhone Unlocking. To disable Face ID, open Settings> Face ID and Password and click "Reset Face ID". With this option, Face ID data, including your face's math representations, will be deleted from your device. If you choose to erase or reset your device using iPhone Finder or by erasing all content and settings, all Face ID data will be deleted.

Even if you do not enroll in Face ID, the TrueDepth camera is intelligently activated to support features that detect your attention, such as reducing the brightness of the screen if you are not looking at your iPhone or reducing the volume of notifications if you are looking at your device. For example, when using Safari, your device will check to determine if you are looking at your device and turn off the screen if you are not looking at it. If you do not want to use these features, you can open Settings> General> Accessibility and disable the "Attraction tracing attributes" option.

Within supported applications, you can enable Face ID for authentication. Apps are only notified as to whether authentication is successful. Apps do not have access to the Face ID data associated with the registered person.


The iPhone and the TrueDepth camera system have been tested thoroughly and meet international safety standards. The use of the TrueDepth camera system is safe under normal conditions of use. The system does not cause damage to the eyes or skin due to its low output. It is important to know that the infrared transmitters may be damaged during repair or disassembly, for this Apple service always to be done by Apple or an authorized service center. The TrueDepth camera system incorporates intrusion detection capabilities. If a violation is detected, the system may be disabled for security reasons.

When looking through specific camera types, you may notice a light output from the TrueDepth camera. This is expected as some cameras can detect infrared light. Some may also notice the low light output from the TrueDepth camera when you look at it in a very dark room. This is expected in extremely dark places.


Accessibility is an integral part of Apple products. Users with physical constraints can choose "Accessibility Options" when recording that does not require the full range of head movements to pinpoint different angles and is still safe to use but requires more consistency in the way you look at the iPhone X.

Face ID also has an accessibility feature to support people with vision loss or low vision. If you do not want the Face ID to require you to stare openly on the iPhone X, you can open Settings> General> Accessibility and disable the "Face ID Requirement" option. This option turns off automatically if you enable VoiceOver during initial configuration.

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