Face and fingerprint recognition is now becoming mainstream. In fact, it’s so mainstream that phones are getting rid of their home buttons completely and just going with facial recognition. Despite that, the two recognition features remain up for discussion. In some ways they seem safe, as the FBI struggles to crack iPhones using this technology, but there’s always a way around everything.
How have you ultimately decided regarding this technology? Are you sticking with it? Or have you abandoned it and gone back to just straight passwords? Do you still use face or fingerprint recognition even though it’s controversial?
Alex believes some of the controversy with Face ID and Touch ID “stems from a misunderstanding about how it works.” He notes ID data is never removed from our phone and is only stored in an area that is highly encrypted, so he doesn’t worry about the notion that Apple is building a database of biometric information. He is choosing to trust them, though he knows others may argue with him over it.
He does wish that biometrics were user names and not passwords. “If my face or fingerprints were somehow stolen, I would have no way to change them.” For this reason, he finds biometric ID to be not the best methodology.
Andrew mostly uses fingerprint, for the same reason that Alex mentioned, that he knows the biometric data isn’t being sent away from the phone. He finds it fairly secure, even though he realizes there are probably people trying to figure out how to crack it.
While face recognition is also secure for the same reason, he sees it as easier to trick, as people have even used 3D-printed masks. He still sees a passcode as the safest method to protect a phone, but as much as he values privacy and security, he thinks “the gains to those things would be marginal compared to the convenience of quick fingerprint authentication.”
Phil admits he doesn’t even lock his phone, which he knows in itself is controversial, for the following reasons.
- He works from home and rarely goes anywhere but shopping or to visit a few people. He sees it as extremely unlikely anyone would get to his phone.
- It’s a hassle to unlock a phone, even with fingerprints, as he makes scale models, and his “fingertips are smeared in cyanoacrylate, contact cement, paint, and tiny particles of wood and plastic” much of the time.
- He sees it as a gimmick, though he recognizes he’s “old and bad-tempered” and admits “new-fangled nonsense” makes him “hilariously luddite and curmudgeonly.”
Fabio explains he completely avoids it, as “better safe than sorry.”
Afam tries not to, as he believes the same as Fabio: “Better safe than sorry.”
Simon admits to being “very paranoid about my biometric data” after he read about the “track your heritage” sites, such as Ancestry, using DNA data which can lead to it being more difficult to get life insurance if your DNA shows specific health problems. He prefers to “simply rely on PINs, passwords, and pattern locks” rather than using his face or fingers.
Ryan answers “fingerprint scanner all the way.” Face unlock is too gimmicky for his taste. He had to resort to using an older phone without a fingerprint scanner recently and admits to having been “crestfallen.”
I admit to being like Phil for a long time. I resisted locking my phone and never go very far either. But at a doctor’s appointment my phone slipped out of my bag, and I lost it (my phone, not my temper). I had to leave without it. I checked “Find My iPhone” when I got home and found it. I was very worried, as I had a lot of personal information on there.
Because of that incident, I now lock my phone. It started with a passcode, and now I use Touch ID and really like the convenience of it. I’m not really hot on the idea of Face ID, but I know at some point when I update my iPhone, I’ll have to try it.
Even within just this small sampling of our writers, there are still several different answers. People stating that it’s safe, people preferring fingerprint, and people not even locking their phones. Do you agree with any of our writers? Let us know how you feel about this technology in the comments section.
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