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The iPhone X’s Face ID has one real vulnerability: Your kids

Published Nov 14th, 2017 7:31PM EST
iPhone X Face ID
Image: Apple Inc.

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The iPhone X comes with the most secure facial recognition system available on a mobile device right now, miles ahead of the next best thing. There’s one chance in a million for someone else’s face to unlock your device, Apple said on stage and in a white paper describing Face ID.

But if you’ve got kids under the age of 13, they might be able to unlock your device, as the following video proves.

Attaullah Malik posted a short clip on YouTube that shows his wife and his kid unlocking the same iPhone with Face ID. Here’s how he described the whole thing:

We are seeing a flood of videos on YouTube from iPhone users who have gotten their hands on the new iPhone X and are trying to trick the Face ID. When my wife and I received our iPhone X, we had no such intention. However, things changed right after we were done setting up our new iPhones on November 3rd. We were sitting down in our bedroom and were just done setting up the Face IDs, our 10-year-old son walked in anxious to get his hands on the new iPhone X. Right away my wife declared that he was not going to access her phone. Acting exactly as a kid would do when asked to not do something, he picked up her phone and with just a glance got right in.

Before you freak out, you should know that your iPhone is still totally safe, even if you have children under the age of 13. Apple has foreseen these errors, mentioning them explicitly in its white paper. The Face ID technology is sophisticated enough to make sure that strangers can’t get into your device. But it’s not as advanced to tell the minor differences between siblings, especially young children.

What’s also interesting about the Face ID technology is that it continually updates the mathematical expression of your face to adjust for changes in appearance. That’s why you’ll be able to unlock the phone even after you become a zombie. But that’s also why it’ll think that your kid is you. It’s also why young twins can hack Face ID in this manner, something that we saw in other Face ID test videos.

The good news is that your kids will grow up quickly, and before you know it they’ll be off to college. Until then, don’t be surprised to see them “hack” your iPhone.

The short video follows below, while the entire story is available on Wired.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.