The U.S. government allows the Department of Homeland Security to scan faces of foreign nationals when they enter the country. Good right? That may help to keep track of everyone who enters the good old U.S. of A. regardless of the reason, heritage, or intent.
If you believe the rumors and leaks, Apple plans to introduce face recognition to the new iPhone 8, thanks to a few embedded 3D sensors and other gadgetry that can help identify that you are who the iPhone thinks you are.
Good, right? Maybe. Maybe not as much as I once thought or you might think. It depends upon how Apple handles face recognition and where it fits into iPhone security.
Touch ID in iPhone and iPad works well. The scanned fingerprints are stored in a secure enclave in the iPhone and it’s nearly impossible by hook or by crook to get them out. The Touch ID fingerprint scanner works so well that it’s almost too quick to unlock the iPhone; but that’s not the problem. Apple has managed to store the fingerprints so they’re just not easily accessible by authorities or hackers.
After a few years of use, Touch ID and Apple Pay make a formidable contribution to securing your iPhone and securing online or checkout purchases. Have you read of a problem with hackers? Me, neither.
It’s one thing for the Department of Homeland Security to scan the faces of every foreigner entering the country, but what about U.S. citizens leaving the country? That may be here sooner than you think thanks to six trials being conducted across the U.S. and a plan to roll out face recognition at airports next year.
Guess what? You might not be told it’s happening. Check this out:
The only way for an individual to ensure he or she is not subject to collection of biometric information when traveling internationally is to refrain from traveling
Anybody got a problem with that?
I understand the issues. The government wants to make the country safer from terrorists and others who would harm citizens. A giant database of face data captured here and there would seem, on the surface, to help achieve that goal.
Apple made Touch ID’s fingerprints about as secure as they could be unless God himself kept track of each one (something he seems capable of doing). Thank you, Apple. But the U.S. government does not have a good record of keeping information about citizens secure from outsiders, criminals, hackers, and foreign entities.
How would you like to be traveling through an airport only to be pulled over by security and flagged as being an imposter because someone hacked the government’s database and changed the photo that served as facial recognition for you and your Social Security Number?
It could happen. It probably will happen.
So, Apple may have face recognition coming in iPhone 8. Let’s hope it works the same way or better than Touch ID and keeps what it captures secure from everyone else but ourselves. And maybe the U.S. government will watch closely how it works and implements something that works.
I expect the former to work out to our benefit, but the latter makes me laugh. And not in a good way.