The not-so-long awaited iPhone X was revealed today in what Apple hoped would be a blockbuster event to send stocks soaring and have customers foaming at the mouth.
Unfortunately for the company, which was once poised to top $1 trillion in valuation, some of the new phone’s features have made it a hard sell for educated consumers.
For years, technological advancements in the realm of facial recognition technology have both amazed consumers and alarmed proponents of privacy throughout the world. Smartphone apps such as Snapchat have led the way in these Big Brother-esque evolutions, recognizing, logging, and possibly storing this data on questionably secured servers.
Now, Apple is following suit in the facial recognition game, releasing a new iteration of their ever-popular iPhone that will not feature a “home” button on its front screen, and a shocking change to the way in which the device will recognize its users.
“There’s a new way to unlock an iPhone. Onstage today, Apple’s Phil Schiller unveiled the iPhone X, with one big surprise: no home button. Because of its edge-to-edge display, the iPhone has no place for a conventional home button, relying instead on a complex facial recognition system called Face ID to unlock the phone.
“’Nothing has ever been simpler or more natural,’ Schiller told the crowd.
“The new Face ID system was first revealed in a firmware leak over the weekend, alongside new details on wireless charging and a status bar update in iOS 11. According to the leak, the new facial recognition system will be capable of substituting for Touch ID everywhere the current system is used, both unlocking the phone and confirming purchases on iTunes, the App Store, and Apple Pay.”
While oblivious technophiles will likely see this advancement as a sign of the times and a neat party trick, those who are concerned about privacy will probably avoid upgrading their device for some time to come.
Another worry in the case of forced facial recognition is the ability of law enforcement or government officials to subpoena this data to incriminate iPhone users in a subversion of the 4th Amendment.