10-year-old boy unlocks mom’s iPhone X with Face ID

In the latest case of mistaken Face ID verification, a video showing a 10-year-old boy unlocking his mom’s iPhone X underscores previous reports that even non-identical family members may be able to access the devices, WIRED reports. While hackers using sophisticated 3D mapping to create elaborate masks might not be of much concern to the average iPhone X owner, knowing that a child could fool the device and scroll through their texts or order food off GrubHub may give some pause. In an interview with WIRED, Attaullah Malik puzzled over his son’s ability to unlock his wife’s iPhone X reliably but not his, since “People generally say he looks more like me.”
This isn’t the first time a younger family member has been able to beat Face ID, and Apple has warned that kids who don’t have “fully developed facial features” will be somewhat problematic for the Face ID scans. After the family tested re-registered the mother’s face in brighter daytime conditions, their son was locked out. Then after resetting the iPhone X in original nighttime light she first used to set up the device, the problem returned, so it’s possible Face ID is more susceptible to false identifications if the original scan is done in less than ideal lighting. Luckily Malik said his son is a “good kid” who’s unlikely to abuse his access to his mom’s iPhone X, but parents with less well-behaved youngsters might want to consider how much their kids look like them before dropping their cash on the iPhone X.


Dan Pye was a news editor at iLounge. He's been involved with technology his whole life, and started writing about it in 2009. He's written about everything from iPhone and iPad cases to Apple TV accessories.