Several vendors are applying a “sell first, ask questions later” approach to business strategy.
It certainly seems that iPhone announcements aren’t what they used to be, but one feature that made headlines this year was the Face ID included in the upcoming iPhone X. This feature allows you to unlock the phone simply by letting it look at your face.
It is said to be twenty times as secure as a fingerprint scanner and certainly sounds really fancy. However, some are wondering if this advancement in technology opens the door for never-before-seen vulnerabilities.
For example, what is to stop a suspicious lover from scanning their partner’s face while they sleep so that they may peruse their messages and photos freely? Or, what if someone kidnaps me, does the face swapping surgery from that John Woo movie, and then gains access to my Pokémon GO account?
These are the questions that we as a society need to address.
Chinese manufacturers, on the other hand, are taking a less-talk-more-rock approach and have already released several countermeasures to unauthorized access of facial recognition systems. Those less tech-savvy among us might call these “masks” but actually they are “iPhone X Identity Verification Abuse Prevention Items.”
The captions also mention that these items are “multi-functional” without going into details. We got the “abuse prevention” function as mentioned in the name… I suppose the mouth hole facilitates a “breathing/survival function” along with an optional “seeing function” in some models. The beige one looks like it might have a built-in “rob the 3:10 to Yuma” function as well.
Prices range from 35 to 200 RMB (US$5 to $30) on China’s major online retailer Taobao, but isn’t really clear if that’s cheap or expensive… we’re kind of in uncharted territory here, so it will probably take a little time for the market to sort itself out.
Or you could do as our writer Meg has, and acquire your own iPhone X Identity Verification Abuse Item, but security cannot be guaranteed.
Personally, I think the price is about right. They’re in pretty much the same range as those “facekini” facial suntan prevention items that were a big hit in China a few years ago, and these masks look suspiciously similar… almost as if they just changed the name. Hmmm.
Either way, future iPhone X buyers ought to seriously look into iPhone X Identity Verification Abuse Prevention Items right away. What else can those worried about privacy do, not turn the feature on?
Pfft, that’s ludicrous. Now go and get a nylon mask to sleep in every night!