Face ID’s Innovation: Continuous Authentication

Rich Mogull, writing for TidBITS:

Put simply, Face ID is the most compelling advancement in security I have seen in a very long time. It’s game changing not merely due to the technology, but due to Apple’s design and implementation.


I believe Face ID is slower at actual recognition than Touch ID, but it’s nearly impossible to notice due to the implementation. In the time it takes to move your finger to the Touch ID sensor, Face ID could have already unlocked your iPhone.

That’s the real Face ID revolution. Since you’re almost always looking at your phone while you’re using it, Face ID enables what I call “continuous authentication.”

This is a fascinating article, worth the read. But even better, if you’ve not yet seen it, is the video embedded in Rich’s piece, which I’ve embedded below.

In it, Wall Street Journal’s Joanna Stern tries her best to defeat Face ID using siblings, triplets, and a well crafted theatrical mask.

  • lllewis

    Theses kids look like they are under 13, and pretty sure Apple said it doesn’t work well for any kids, so no surprise. But yes, about ⅓ of one percent of people are born with an dentical twin. I’d guess the vast majority of them know about it.

  • James Hughes

    There is no (and Tricking) going on here. Clickbait.

  • Jeph

    While the technology may be compelling, the use case(s) will be the problem. We have an addiction to our mobile devices that supersedes manners, common sense, and protocol in many cases. Authentication that requires the phone to be in front of the face will exacerbate issues in business meetings, darkened movie theaters, while driving, and any other place where activating one’s phone is less than appropriate. But people will activate their phones in those scenarios and others, and now it will not be by discretely swiping a finger, but by holding the device in front of their face.