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Now iPhone X Face ID fails in telling between Siblings & Half-brothers

We just shared how the $1000 iPhone X is very fragile and its ugly notch interferes with the user experience. And now one of the most important security feature fails to live up to Apple’s hype. While Face ID or facial biometric identification has arrived on iPhones very late as compared to the pioneering Lumias it is already failing to live up to Apple’s claim of “most refined” implementation.

Latest videos show how iPhone X Face ID fails in distinguishing between siblings who are not twins or even look very similar. Another video shows how it can be fooled by even half-brothers different in age significantly.

IPhoneX Face ID fail? from iphone

If you drop an iPhone X and end up with broken glass you need to shell $500 for the replacement. On top of that failure of a much-hyped yet heavily copied feature raises a big question mark on Apple’s latest and the costliest offering ever. It will be interesting to see how Apple’s amazing marketing team RFDes it all with “you are holding it wrong” punchline.


Nayan has more than 10 years of experience of covering Technology and innovations. He is a big Nokia fan and Tech disruptions aficionado. He loves to review new cool gadgets and writing about Android, iOS, Gadgets and general Technology stuff. He has been associated with other well-known Tech sites WinCentral and GadgetOx since long.

He currently sports a Lumia 950 XL and Nexus 5X. Other interests include listening to Nu-Metal Hits and Kick-Boxing.
Write to him at Email: [email protected]
  • Rob Beijendorf

    While FaceID isn’t what anyone would regard as perfect yet, these videos don’t tell the whole story.

    The video with the similar-looking brothers turned out to be the FaceID working as intended:
    1) The phone wouldn’t unlock when the brother tried to unlock it using FaceID.
    2) The phone therefore demanded the passcode, which the brother entered.
    3) Since the passcode was entered, the phone assumed FaceID was erroneously stopping the real user from unlocking the phone (it was a close enough match), and added the slight discrepancy of the brothers face.
    4) The brother could now also unlock the phone using FaceID.

    That’s how it’s supposed to work. The passcode was basically verification that “Yes, I am the owner” to the FaceID, and FaceID then memorised the slight difference in the face. The same happens if you suddenly trim your beard of get a haircut or similar. Big changes demands verification that it’s still you, small changes are memorised over time as they change (such as hair growth).

    The video with the notably different looking brothers is still unclear, as they haven’t showed how they set up FaceID. The theory is that they switched faces halfway through the setup process, which is usually rejected, but in rare cases might work. Especially if they reinforce it by entering the passcode when it doesn’t unlock due to the discrepancy.

    FaceID still isn’t an optimal solution if you have an evil twin or something, but it’s also not as bad as these videos make it out to be. People are just trying to cash in on the hype of cracking it, like how TouchID was “cracked” by carefully making a cast of a verified fingerprint and using it to unlock the device.

    • Kamal

      A feature that existed for long on other phones and which Apple copies and implements as its own can’t be so insecure. This is a big fail. If you speak to iFans they will defend Apple saying may be they copied but their implementation is the best. Now, this time around Apple copied and implemented it so poorly. So, IMHO it makes iPhone X one of the most unsafe phones while using biometric identification.

      • saravanan s

        well said Kamal…

      • Rob Beijendorf

        3D-mapping facial recognition is entirely new on phones. That’s actually something Apple WAS the first to implement, instead of “perfecting”. Other manufacturers have only used iris scanners and picture-based facial recognition before – both of which being extremely easy to fool.

        And it’s not insecure, as i mentioned. The first example was two people knowingly setting it up wrongly, and in the second example the phone actually denied entry to the identical-looking brother (check the Reddit thread). The only thing that has managed to trick Face ID so far has been identical twins, and Apple have been very clear on this limitation.

        It could be argued that fingerprint scanners are even more unsafe, given how we leave our fingerprints everywhere, including on the surfaces of our glass-panelled phones. It’s a relatively simple matter to then lift the fingerprint from the glass and use it to get into the phone.

        No biometric entry method is intrinsically ‘safe’ on its own; they need to be combined with a password only you know. People just see the convenience of not having to enter a password as a valid trade-off. In fact, no manufacturer has implemented a two-factor authentication for biometrics yet, though Apple discussed allowing 2FA for Face ID.

    • Nicholas Conrad

      I watched both videos and in neither was the code entered. You’re grasping at straws to cover apple’s horrendous fail. Not only does fid fail to prevent unwanted people from accessing the phone, reviews of it in use also are quick to point out it often fails to let the intended user in. Fail, fail, fail.

      • Rob Beijendorf

        They also didn’t show them even setting up FaceID, so by your logic that never happened either, eh?

        The code was entered before they went on camera to show FaceID letting them both in. You the Indian brothers wrote about it in the associated Reddit thread. You can also check EverythingApplePro showing how you can scan two faces during the setup process, meaning both facial maps will be stored.

        If you want to baselessly bash Apple, go ahead. It’s not my job to defend them. But you’ll just look dumb doing so when the only reason FaceID “failed” is because of user errors.

        • Nicholas Conrad

          Cool story brah, I’ll keep an eye out for it in the discount bin at boarders.

  • johala02

    I suppose this and the notch on the top are the reason for iPhone 8 series. Many will go for those if you prefeer a fingerprint sensor and a more conservative form factor.