Two Zombie Rumors are Back: iPhone SE 2 and Display Touch ID

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I’ve coined the phrase “zombie rumor” because these rumors keep getting resurrected. First it was the Apple TV set, and now it’s the iPhone SE 2 and Touch ID that is embedded into the screen. Mark Gurman tells us about both.

Apple is considering including this in-screen touch sensor in the 2020 iPhone model if testing is successful, the people said. Suppliers have proven their ability to integrate the technology into iPhones, but the company has not managed to mass-produce it yet, one person familiar with the development work said.

I think going back to Touch ID is a step backward. Face ID is more secure, so Apple would be intentionally creating less-secure devices, unless they can somehow get Touch ID up to par with Face ID.

Researchers Spoof Face ID Using Tape and Glasses

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During the Black Hat 2019 conference, researchers demonstrated a way to spoof Face ID using nothing more than glasses and tape.

To launch the attack, researchers with Tencent tapped into a feature behind biometrics called “liveness” detection, which is part of the biometric authentication process that sifts through “real” versus “fake” features on people. It works by detecting background noise, response distortion or focus blur. One such biometrics tool that utilizes liveness detection is FaceID, which is designed and utilized by Apple for the iPhone and iPad Pro.

Eye Tracking is the Holy Grail of Advertising

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Avi Bar-Zeev, who works on AR/VR/MR, says that eye tracking is the holy grail of advertising (And he’s all for it). While I don’t disagree with that point, I do wonder how prevalent it will become. For example, when Face ID first came out, there was a fear that it could be exploited for eye tracking ads. But that isn’t possible because Apple locks down its technology. I expect the same for Apple Glasses.

Bundled into VR headsets or AR glasses, eye-tracking will, in the near-future, enable companies to collect your intimate and unconscious responses to real-world cues and those they design. Those insights can be used entirely for your benefit. But they will also be seen as priceless inputs for ad-driven businesses, which will learn, model, predict and manipulate your behavior far beyond anything we’ve seen to date.

Google Investigation Shows Apple Was Right About Face ID

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Take this with a grain of salt because this tweet is all I’ve seen about this. But David Ruddock of AndroidPolice mentioned a Google investigation trying to determine if certain types of fingerprint sensors are secure.

Another CES Story: I’ve heard Google is currently investigating whether current optical fingerprint sensor designs are secure enough to be used for TrustZone auth (mobile payments, banking apps, etc). There is real concern optical FPRs may be too easy to spoof.

Although facial recognition came to Android first, it was there for convenience as a way to unlock your device. But Apple added it for security, and it looks like they bet on the right horse.

Cops Can't Force You to Unlock an iPhone via Face ID, Touch ID

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A U.S. federal judge has ruled that law enforcement can’t force you to unlock an iPhone or iPad via Face ID or Touch ID.

In the United States, a suspect’s property has the potential to be searched by law enforcement officials as part of an investigation, but some items are typically left alone. While people are protected from having to unlock their devices via a passcode, biometric security has been considered fair game for use by investigators, bypassing the passcode rules.

This will certainly set a precedent for the future. Although it doesn’t completely stop the investigation, it does give people a bit more freedom.