Apple tells U.S. Senate Democrat Al Franken they trained iPhone X’s Face ID system to not be racist, ageist, or sexist

“Shortly after Apple introduced iPhone X with Face ID biometric security in September, U.S. Senator Al Franken challenged CEO Tim Cook to address the technology’s potential impact on consumer privacy,” Mikey Campbell reports for AppleInsider. “Apple has since responded in a letter detailing the system’s built-in security features. ”

“Beyond consumer privacy, Franken questioned Apple over steps taken to protect against racial, gender and age bias,” Campbell reports. “In its response, penned by VP for Public Policy Cynthia Hogan, Apple explained Face ID confirms the presence of an attentive face (via gaze detection), projects and reads a depth map of a user’s face and sends that information to the Secure Enclave for processing. Face ID data, which includes a mathematical representation of a user’s face, is encrypted and never leaves the device. ”

Apple’s response:
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Franken on Monday issued a statement regarding Apple’s response:

grandstandI appreciate Apple’s willingness to engage with my office on these issues, and I’m glad to see the steps that the company has taken to address consumer privacy and security concerns. I plan to follow up with Apple to find out more about how it plans to protect the data of customers who decide to use the latest generation of iPhone’s facial recognition technology. As the top Democrat on the Privacy Subcommittee, I strongly believe that all Americans have a fundamental right to privacy. All the time, we learn about and actually experience new technologies and innovations that, just a few years back, were difficult to even imagine. While these developments are often great for families, businesses, and our economy, they also raise important questions about how we protect what I believe are among the most pressing issues facing consumers: privacy and security.

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Again, based on an ever-accumulating history (see articles below), Franken seems to strive to attach his name to Apple Inc.

Wonder why?

U.S. Senate Democrat Al Franken wants Apple to provide more information on Face ID facial recognition technology – September 13, 2017
U.S. Senate Democrat Al Franken urges federal probe of Apple Music – July 23, 2015
U.S. Senate Democrat Al Franken demands answers from Apple CEO Tim Cook over iPhone 5s’ Touch ID – September 20, 2013
U.S. Senator Al Franken presses wireless companies and hardware makers for Carrier IQ answers – December 5, 2011
Senator Al Franken! Paging Senator Al Franken! – December 1, 2011
Apple, Google to face U.S. Senator Al Franken’s subcommittee in mobile privacy hearing – May 9, 2011
U.S. Senator Al Franken demands answers from Apple’s Steve Jobs over iPhone tracking – April 21, 2011
Apple’s Bud Tribble to testify in U.S. Senator Al Franken’s Judiciary Subcommittee hearings on mobile privacy – May 6, 2011
U.S. Senator Al Franken demands answers from Apple’s Steve Jobs over iPhone tracking – April 21, 2011


        1. Given that the original idea of Congress was to gather the real busybodies/impediments to progress in a given State and send them to the middle of a swamp where they couldn’t hurt anyone unless something was actually serious enough to get them to stop fighting, I’d say he fits right in.

    1. I was born in MN and spent many yrs of my life there. I hereby disassociate myself, including my race, sex and age from from Senator Nutcase from the great state of MN. On the basis of privacy and security, I request the Senator inspect the technologies of Apple’s competitors that unlocks the device when presented a user’s photographic likeness. This dilutes the value of the individual as does all racism, sexism and ageism.

      1. @We’re Whacked:

        You’re right. Apple’s comittment to privacy is far above any other large tech company.

        The truly sad fact of this situation is that not one so-called journalist will ever ask Sen. Franken why he is not making this an issue with Samsung and all the other tech companies. ATTENTION ALL JOURNALISTS: This is the very reason why all polls about your “profession” consistently rank you as embarrassingly low. Is there not one of you in the world who cares about this? If there is, then DO YOUR JOB by asking relevant questions (many such questions could be put forth to Sen. Franken on this subject).

        Pure, moronic grandstanding by this former (current?) comedian — and the vast, vast majority of the public are simply too stupid to see through his charade.

        1. Your indictment of journalism IS well taken and would not be tolerated 50 years ago.

          Today, journalism is more biased than EVER before, so fairness of the profession to do the right thing is TOTALLY GONE.

          You asked why they will not confront Franken for hypocrisy in his position. That’s easy, Democrat journalists will NOT put Democrat politicians on the spot. Not now, not ever.

          Nuff said …

  1. Hold on there good people! Let’s not be rash. This is actually a good thing. The more critical Franken is and the more Apple has to clear the “hurdles” the less likely Samdung can come out with a half assed version of face ID. Right?

    But…. oh wait……. Samdung already did come out with a half assed version and Franken didn’t raise a whisper. Hmmmm.

    1. It’s possible that since Samsung never promoted facial unlock as a primary method (more like, that’s cool) worthy of a proper name as Apple is doing, it didn’t raise much concern.

    2. “Let’s not be rash. This is actually a good thing.”

      Only if you are from planet Libtardia.

      Fake Franken as MDN pointed out targets Apple consistently for headlines couple times a year.

      When you have zero notable legislative accomplishments, no political skills, an intellect as deep as a birdbath this is what the good people of MN deserve from a comedy clown they elected.

      Nuff said …

  2. Franken has always been a political nothing, (trying to be nice) As far as I can concerned, he cheated to get elected and he hasn’t had any competition for re-election yet, though that may be changing.

    He comes out of woodwork every few months or once a year with a couple headlines trying to take on some tech issue to make himself look important, and in reality, he has done absolutely nothing for the state of Minnesota.. he’s more than useless.

  3. There is no demographic more demonstrably clueless about the nuances of race than contemporary white liberals. They have become so ridiculously condescending boorishly racist with their feckless hero complex, that it is as if they all expect to be called “bwana” when they enter a room.

    They are an embarrassment to true liberalism and the real champions of equal opportunity from generations past. They are nothing short of asinine in their actions, words, and perceptions, having less racial sophistication than a bubblegum comic, all the while believing themselves to be saviors.

    It is these people, people like Al Franken, who have managed to turn the idea of a social justice warrior into a comical slur of stupidity, and the word racism into an empty and meaningless insult.

  4. I don’t know how to say how retarded this is without using the word retarded, but, OMG, this is retarded. Whatever. Believe it or not, Apple, there are times I really don’t care for my phone to fully unlock simply because I picked it up. My mind is there, not with this SJW bullsh*t. Is Tim Cook even a grown man? I’m beginning to wonder.:/

  5. Franken started his career creating comedy farce on Second City TV. Now he IS a farce as a second rate senator. It’s really funny! And somehow tragic at the same time! What’s up Minnesota? What are you thinking?

    PS. Is douchebag one word, or two?

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