The arrival of the iPhone X also brings a new form of authentication that Apple is hyping as its most secure yet. Those who make the leap to the iPhone X will be able to unlock their device using the facial recognition feature Face ID. Apple has positioned the new biometric check as a vast improvement over previous forms of authentication. On its website the company claims "Your face is your secure password," and during the September event unveiling the iPhone X, Apple said Face ID was a huge step up from the company's prior biometric feature, the Touch ID fingerprint sensor. If Face ID is everything Apple says it is, should users ditch passwords and passcodes in favor of just their face?
Samsung claims that spoofing the iris scanner on the Galaxy S8 smartphone isn't as simple as a recent video demonstration would make it seem. The manufacturer made a statement, after the German hacker collective, Chaos Computer Club shared a video, detailing how it was able to unlock a Galaxy S8 handset using the printed image of an eye with a contact lens overlaid on the paper. "Although the one-minute video (that shows the sensor being fooled with a dummy eye) appears simple, it is hard to see that happening in real life," a Samsung spokesperson told The Korea Herald. "You need a camera that can capture infrared light (used in the video), which is no longer available in the market. Also, you need to take a photo of the owner's iris and steal his smartphone.
To protect your devices, security experts often recommend having a backup method of authentication – but, they probably didn't mean your pet hedgehog. In an adorable new video, a hedgehog named Sashimi can be seen using her tiny paw to unlock an iPhone, successfully passing through the TouchID sensor. It works just like it would for a person, requiring the print be pressed multiple times onto the home button in order to capture its unique design. The Instagram-star Sashimi, of course, does this with some assistance from a human. Though adorable, the video also raises questions on the security of this feature.
In the age of information technology, more and more people--young and old alike–don't have problems sharing their personal information online, sometimes, even private ones. And it seems like there's no big deal when it comes to biometric identity, either. Every day, people from all over the world use facial or fingerprint recognition to unlock phones and log in to apps and games. They also want to be tagged in friends' photos, enabled by identification algorithms used by Facebook and Google. From employee IDs to national IDs, to digital and airport security, biometric identification and authentication are proliferating.
It sounds like a great idea: Forget passwords, and instead lock your phone or computer with your fingerprint. It's a convenient form of security -- though it's also perhaps not as safe as you'd think. In their rush to do away with problematic passwords, Apple, Microsoft and other tech companies are nudging consumers to use their own fingerprints, faces and eyes as digital keys. Smartphones and other devices increasingly feature scanners that can verify your identity via these "biometric" signatures in order to unlock a gadget, sign into web accounts and authorize electronic payments. But there are drawbacks: Hackers could still steal your fingerprint -- or its digital representation.