Paranoid much? Yes, if everyone is out to get you– and they are– paranoia is not such a bad attitude to have. You know I’m right. We live in a capitalist world where everyone wants our money. Retailers work diligently to make it easy to buy. Technology gadget makers create a Disneyland-like environment that is uncomfortable to leave.
Makers of smart televisions gather data from viewers and sell it. That’s what Facebook does to their social network users, and Google does to almost every human on earth that uses the interwebs.
All those entities know about you and me, and after a few decades of collecting data, they may well know more about us than we know about ourselves.
What does Apple know about its customers?
Our favorite iPhone maker gathers personal data, too, but promises that it is not used on a personalized basis; it’s anonymized or scrubbed so it isn’t as personal. You see that approach with Touch ID and Face ID, but it would not take much to uncover what our Apple gadgets– iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Watch know about us. The former two have sensors that can determine if we are who we say we are. The Mac will get Face ID, too.
What about Watch?
Unlike a password, Face ID matches your face to a digital version of your face to allow access to iPhone and iPad. Watch only knows it is being worn by somebody– it cannot yet differentiate you from someone else– and all that is required is the same as what iPhone and iPad require.
Apple patent #2019000370 is for a “wearable electronic device including a wrist biometric sensor for acquiring skin texture patten images and related methods.” In other words, if iPhone knows who you are by your face, a future Watch could know who you are by your skin texture.
A wearable electronic device may include a device body and a device band coupled to the device body for securing the device to a wrist of a user. The wearable electronic device may also include a wrist biometric sensor carried by one of the device body and the device band. The wrist biometric sensor may include biometric sensing pixels
That paragraph is legal speak or legalese for a future Watch with yet another sensor that can determine that you are is who you say you are based upon the texture of your skin.
How would it work?
The wearable electronic device may also include a processor coupled to the wrist biometric sensor and configured to cooperate with the biometric sensing pixels to acquire skin texture pattern images from adjacent portions of the user’s wrist, and perform at least one authentication function based upon the skin texture pattern images.
Already iPhones and iPads can be secured via fingerprints and facial recognition but the possibility exits that Watch could be added to the level of security for both via skin recognition.
Apple may be doing the biometric security thing the right way (especially when compared to Samsung, Microsoft, and competitors), but the personal ID trend seems to be going down a road where our identities can be captured by our devices, rather than– as in the case of a password– by what we know.