Apple was on its way to switching to this type of biometric security with the new iPhone. In its push for more edge space, it left none for TouchID fingerprint security. There has been speculation as to where they could move the TouchID button and still make it work, however.
The new facial unlocking system goes under the name of Pearl. It was found when they looked at the details of the leaked firmware code of the upcoming HomePod speaker. More importantly, two words kept showing up in the code - "resting" and "unlock."
Those two words are important for two reasons. That means that the iPhone 8 wouldn't need to be held up to your face to open - you could leave it down on a table and it could easily unlock. This could be a security risk of massive proportions - hackers or governments could catch onto your face without you noticing.
That hasn't stopped all the big companies from making this the new standard. Google, Samsung and Qualcomm are just some of the heavy hitters, with plenty of other companies all making their devices pushing for facial recognition. Some already have it, although they are not completely effective or people rather use regular passwords or fingerprint unlocking.
The FBI is still looking for ways to unlock a personal iPhone even after losing the privacy battle after San Bernadino. They are using multiple ways to break into an iPhone, from refreshing memory to lasers. If they got ahold of a suspect's face, they might not need to make as much effort anymore.
Apple's own security system will also have to get used to the challenges. The Secure Enclave processor previously only had to worry about a fingerprint. Now it will have to see if it can keep its unlocking data separate from the same camera used for selfies.
In the end, the biggest problem right now could come from Apple itself. Their 3D sensor used to read the face might not be as reliable as the developers want it to be, according to some sources. Part of its software issues coming from Apple Pay and its connection to TouchID.
Apple Pay is an important financial tool, and with it being phased out, it will cause a lot of static with financial companies. Payment companies like Mastercard are big fans of stronger security without their customers remembering passwords. But it will take those institutions longer times to get used to this new system.
13. Great Time To Be More Paranoid About Your Photos
And at the end, even if the iPhone 8 still makes it over those technological and security hurdles, you are still unwillingly giving away personal data like you always are. But now, unlocking your phone will give third-party apps more and more high-res 3D scans of your face for commercial purposes.
On the bright side, the same 3D scanning sensors used for facial recognition will make for crisper selfie quality. At the very least, if hackers and companies take images of your face, they're getting the highest quality available.
But everyone wants an Apple product and people will still buy the latest iPhone. What is important is that as consumers, we should be critical of the product we buy. Now smile for the camera, and hope the next line of security is more than a selfie.