Hackernoon logoMy Younger Brother Can Access My iPhone X: Face ID Is Not Secure by@trentlapinski

My Younger Brother Can Access My iPhone X: Face ID Is Not Secure

Trent Lapinski Hacker Noon profile picture

@trentlapinskiTrent Lapinski

VP of Solutions

Apple Fail: Family members with similar facial features can access your iPhone X

I’ve had my iPhone X since November 3rd and so far it has been an interesting experience. As much as I do not like the Orwellian aspects of Face ID, as I’ve written about before, my curiosity continues to get the best of me as I want to know exactly how it works. Unfortunately, the only way to test it is to actually use it and the results so far have been laughable at best.

On Saturday my younger brother came over and without hesitation my iPhone X let him walk right into my iPhone X, twice. He and I both have similar facial features but we are 3-years apart, he is clearly not my twin, he’s blonde, has blue eyes, and is 6'7 compared to my 5'10. While I haven’t had a chance yet to test my iPhone X on either of my parents, my guess is there is a high chance they will be able to get into my iPhone X, especially my Mom.

What this means is family members, who are probably the people you don’t want accessing your device, can now potentially access your iPhone. Especially your younger brother, or Mom… or Grandma.

Imagine being a teenager and the only hope of privacy you had left was your iPhone X and now your parents can walk right into your digital bedroom without knocking, just because they look like you. Here I was concerned about the Orwellian aspects of the iPhone X, but the truth is the technology doesn’t work very well.

What’s stopping a child from picking up their parents iPhone X and using Apple Pay to buy whatever they want on Amazon?

To put it simply, Face ID is not secure.

This seems like a premature “feature” that was added as a gimmick to sell more iPhones. It is clearly not ready for mass adoption, and luckily because it doesn’t work well the Orwellian concerns are somewhat mitigated. For now. The number of false positives these things will give off if they were used for nefarious purposes makes the technology somewhat useless. While I’m sure Apple’s deep learning algorithms will improve with time, and some of this is just a software problem, the hardware seems lacking in this iteration of the iPhone X.

While I do find Face ID to be much more efficient for getting into my phone than Touch ID, the fact of the matter is that it is also considerably more insecure and that’s a problem. This is not a reliable phone for anyone who needs to keep a secret, which is a lot of people, even just parents.

I basically just paid a bunch of money to have a less secure phone for reasons I’m still questioning. While I love the screen, form factor, and improved battery life, it simply feels extremly fragile like I’m going to break it even if I drop it once. It reminds me a lot of the iPhone 4, which is both a good thing and a bad thing.

Meanwhile, if you do drop it, the cost to replace the back glass panel is about half the price of the phone. I’m expecting a major class action lawsuit over this fact alone. Why Apple designed this thing so that you cannot easily replace the glass back is beyond me. It should be a $30 fix, not $500+.


Overall, the iPhone X is a beta product at best. It is a glimpse into the future of what is to come for smart phones, and it has features power users will love, but it is not ready for the masses. I see where Apple is going with this, and I will continue to use this iPhone for now. It is a good smart phone, but Apple needs to do some serious soul searching for charging more for a less secure more fragile device. All because I wanted a longer battery life, as I still use my phone to actually talk to other people.


Join Hacker Noon

Create your free account to unlock your custom reading experience.