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The iPhone X’s Face ID system was put to the test by Wired magazine, who teamed up with a professional face-caster, a makeup artist, and a biometric hacker to create a phony human face that was good enough to fool the system. They failed, and Face ID triumphed as a secure way to keep your phone locked.

Until now, maybe.

A 10-year-boy was able to unlock his mother’s iPhone X within seconds when it mistook his face for hers. Initially his parents thought it was funny, but the laughter stopped when they accepted it as the security flaw it really was. Apple is aware of the issue, stating that twins and even family members who simply resemble each other can sometimes fool Face ID. Children unlocking their parent’s phone seems to be a new one, however.

At Wired’s suggestion, the mom re-registered her face. Afterwards, the boy wasn’t able to unlock the phone, even after multiple tries. A few hours later, she registered her face once more, this time replicating the low-light conditions she was in the first time she registered the phone. This time, the boy was able to unlock the phone on his third attempt. It worked again on his sixth attempt and every time thereafter, suggesting that the phone was learning to recognize the boy’s face.


This brings up a potential new problem. What if FACE ID became so accustomed to the boy’s face that it failed to recognize the mother’s when she tried to unlock the phone? It’s an exciting new technology, but that brings with it exciting new issues. Apple hasn’t commented on the story yet, but the Face ID documentation does talk about children under 13 years of age having not fully developed distinct facial features. In cases where this is an issue, Apple recommends using a passcode.

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