Apple rejects Face ID privacy concerns
18 October 2017 16:49 GMT

Tech giant Apple has responded to privacy concerns raised over its new Face ID feature by a US senator.

In a rare public statement, made in response to questions from Senator Al Franken, Apple said the misgivings were misplaced as it will ensure protection of tis customers' "faceprint" data.

Shortly after Apple announced the iPhone X, which uses facial recognition to unlock the phone in place of a fingerprint sensor, the Minnesota Democrat had published an open letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook asking 10 questions about how the tech was implemented.

Apple's response to Franken largely restates information available on Apple's website about how Face ID works — such as the fact that "faceprints" are not collected by Apple, that third-party developers cannot collect face data from developers, and how the technology works. 

However, it does go into a little bit of additional detail about how the software was built to work with a diverse group of people with different faces, genders, and skin tones: 

"The accessibility of the product to people of diverse races and ethnicities was very important to us. Face ID uses facial matching neural networks that we developed using over a billion images, including IR and depth images collected in studies conducted with the participants’ informed consent. We worked with participants from around the world to include a representative group of people accounting for gender, age, ethnicity, and other factors. We augmented the studies as needed to provide a high degree of accuracy for a diverse range of users. In addition, a neural network that is trained to spot and resist spoofing defends against attempts to unlock your phone with photos or masks."