A worker in the Chinese city of Nanjing claims a colleague has bested the facial recognition technology on her new iPhone X — twice.
The woman, identified only by her surname Yan, told the Jiangsu Broadcasting Corp. that her co-worker was able to get into both phones — her original as well as the new one Apple gave her as a replacement, reports the South China Morning Post.
An Apple spokesman told HuffPost that he couldn’t confirm the details of the story, nor did he have enough information to determine what might have gone wrong with the phones. He suspected that both women may have used the phone during its “passcode training” and that the phones may have been essentially “taught” to recognize both faces.
The facial recognition software has run into some glitches. It can sometimes mistake twins or siblings, according to Apple. The phone, too, may not accurately identify children under the age of 13 because their faces are not as definitely formed as adults’, according to an Apple security “white paper” on the technology.
Apple hasn’t yet confirmed a case of an unrelated adult cracking the phone’s facial recognition software, according to the Apple spokesman. The company insists that the probability of a random person accessing someone else’s iPhone X using the Face ID passcode is 1 in 1 million, versus 1 in 50,000 for Touch ID. Phil Schiller, Apple’s vice president of product marketing, conceded in September: “Of course, the statistics are lowered if that person shares a close genetic relationship with you.”
Unless Apple technicians examine the Chinese phones, it’s unclear what happened. An added complication is that a Chinese company has reportedly begun manufacturing a clone of the iPhone X — with unknown facial recognition capabilities.