“Apple just started sharing your face with lots of apps,” Geoffrey A. Fowler reports for The Washington Post. “Beyond a photo, the iPhone X’s front sensors scan 30,000 points to make a 3D model of your face. That’s how the iPhone X unlocks and makes animations that might have once required a Hollywood studio.”

“Now that a phone can scan your mug, what else might apps want to do with it? They could track your expressions to judge if you’re depressed. They could guess your gender, race and even sexuality. They might combine your face with other data to observe you in stores—or walking down the street,” Fowler reports. “Apps aren’t doing most of these things, yet. But is Apple doing enough to stop it?”

“After I pressed executives this week, Apple made at least one change—retroactively requiring an app tapping into face data to publish a privacy policy,” Fowler reports. “‘We take privacy and security very seriously,’ Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr said. ‘This commitment is reflected in the strong protections we have built around Face ID data—protecting it with the Secure Enclave in iPhone X—as well as many other technical safeguards we have built into iOS.'”

“Indeed, Apple — which makes most of its money from selling us hardware, not selling our data — may be our best defense against a coming explosion in facial recognition,” Fowler reports. “But I also think Apple rushed into sharing face maps with app makers that may not share its commitment, and it isn’t being paranoid enough about the minefield it just entered.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote at the beginning of November:

On something like this, it’s better to be paranoid than not. Of course, Apple and iOS are very good about making this sort of thing opt-in – the user must approve apps’ access to facial data – but, there should still be some mechanism to identify and punish anyone who uses the data inappropriately.

That said, according to iMore‘s Rene Ritchie, “Once the app asks for authentication, it hands off to the system, and all it ever gets back is that authentication or rejection. Apple has a separate system, built into ARKit, the company’s augmented reality framework, that provides basic face tracking for Animoji or any apps that want to provide similar functionality, but it only gets rudimentary mesh and depth data, and never gets anywhere near Face ID data or the Face ID process.”

SEE ALSO:
App developer access to iPhone X face data spooks some privacy experts – November 2, 2017
Apple: Privacy is a fundamental right – September 27, 2017
Apple begins mining browsing data in Safari via differential privacy – September 26, 2017
Apple explains how it’s making Siri smarter without endangering user privacy – September 11, 2017
Apple’s cutting-edge ‘differential privacy’ is opt-in – June 24, 2016
Apple’s cutting-edge ‘differential privacy’ offers unique option for technology users – June 20, 2016
Apple’s use of cutting-edge tech will peek at user habits without violating privacy – June 16, 2016
Apple unveils iOS 10, the mother of all iOS releases – June 13, 2016
Apple previews major update with macOS Sierra – June 13, 2016
Apple seeks to use AI to keep Google off your iPhones, iPads, and Macs – June 15, 2016
Edward Snowden: Apple is a privacy pioneer – June 5, 2015
Tim Cook gets privacy and encryption: We shouldn’t surrender them to Google – June 4, 2015
Tim Cook attacks Google, U.S. federal government over right to privacy abuses – June 3, 2015
The price you’ll pay for Google’s ‘free’ photo storage – June 3, 2015
Apple CEO Tim Cook champions privacy, blasts ‘so-called free services’ – June 3, 2015
Passing on Google Photos for iOS: Read the fine print before you sign up for Google’s new Photos service – June 1, 2015
Why Apple’s Photos beats Google Photos, despite price and shortcomings – May 30, 2015
Is Apple is losing the photo wars? – May 29, 2015
How Google aims to delve deeper into users’ lives – May 29, 2015
Apple CEO Cook: Unlike some other companies, Apple won’t invade your right to privacy – March 2, 2015
Survey: People trust U.S. NSA more than Google – October 29, 2014
Edward Snowden’s privacy tips: ‘Get rid of Dropbox,” avoid Facebook and Google – October 13, 2014
Apple CEO Tim Cook ups privacy to new level, takes direct swipe at Google – September 18, 2014
Apple will no longer unlock most iPhones, iPads for government, police – even with search warrants – September 18, 2014
U.S. NSA watching, tracking phone users with Google Maps – January 28, 2014
U.S. NSA secretly infiltrated Yahoo, Google data centers worldwide, Snowden documents say – October 30, 2013
Google has already inserted some U.S. NSA code into Android – July 10, 2013
Court rules NSA doesn’t have to reveal its semi-secret relationship with Google – May 22, 2013