An Apple official gives a tip to those who will get the newly launched iPhone X in case anyone tries to steal and unlock their phones with the owner’s face.

Apple SVP of Software Engineering, Craig Federighi replying to a question about the potential risk of the new facial recognition feature, said Apple could only give a word of advice, ‘squeeze.’


The recently launched iPhone X which will hit stores on November 3, features a face recognition feature known as FaceID that allows users to unlock their phones by holding it before their face. Many observers quickly pointed at the possible downside of this feature, saying that it will be easy for one to unlock the phone even without being the owner. They could point it at the face of the owner and gain access to the phone.

A prospective client had to send Federighi a mail, asking about the risk of the FaceID. Keith Krimbel, a freelance video editor, emphasized in the mail that a thief may take the phone, point it at the owners face and have it unlocked, then runs with the phone. After some hours, Federighi replied Krimbel’s email which he posted on Twitter.

Apple advice on the risk of easy access by thieves using the FaceID

In a response email, Federighi said there are two mitigations – the phone doesn’t unlock if the owner doesn’t stare at it. Likewise, the FaceID disables when you grip the buttons on both sides of the iPhone X.

During the launch of the iPhone X on Tuesday, Apple executives emphasized that the FaceID needs the owner’s attention before it gets unlocked – this is not new in Federeigh’s email. But the new thing is the grip of side buttons.

Depending on your personality, you can always try to press the side buttons on a phone when being threatened by a mugger, and save unauthorized access to your data. If you can’t remember to push the side buttons at such time, you can choose to close your eyes.