Apple's New "FaceID" Could Be A Powerful Mass Spying Tool

Authored by Mac Slavo via,

On Tuesday, Apple revealed their newest phone. The new line was anticipated by Apple users and is another cult favorite.  But many are rightly skeptical of the “FaceID” feature.

FaceID, is a tool that would use facial recognition to identify individuals and unlock their phones for use. Unsurprisingly, this has generated some major anxiety about mass spying and privacy concerns. Retailers already have a desire for facial recognition technology. They want to monitor consumers, and without legally binding terms and Apple could use FaceID to track consumer patterns at its stores or develop and sell data to others.

That seems minor on the surface, but the ramifications could be enormous. 

It’s also highly possible that police would be able to more easily unlock phones without consent by simply holding an individual’s phone up to his or her face, violating the rights of the person to privacy.

But FaceID should create fear about another form of government surveillance too. And this one is a rights violation of every person on earth: mass scans to identify individuals based on face profiles. Law enforcement is rapidly increasing their use of facial recognition; one in two American adults are already enrolled in a law enforcement facial recognition network, and at least one in four police departments has the capability to run face recognition searches. This could make Apple the target for a new mass surveillance order.

While Facebook has a powerful facial recognition system, it doesn’t maintain the operating systems that control the cameras on phones, tablets, and laptops that stare at us every day.

Apple’s new system completely changes that. For the first time, a company will have a facial recognition system with millions of profiles, and the hardware to scan and identify faces throughout the world.

According to Wired, this is a system already ripe for government abuse. The government could issue an order to Apple with a set of targets and instructions to scan iPhones, iPads, and Macs to search for specific targets based on FaceID, and then Apple would provide the government with those targets’ location based on the GPS data of devices’ that receive a match. Apple has a good record of fighting for user privacy, but there’s only so much the company could do if its objections to an order are turned down by the courts. And the government is already looking into how this could benefit them, but are hiding behind the guise of “privacy.” On Wednesday Sen. Al Franken (D-Minnesota) released a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook, asking how the company will handle the technology’s security and privacy implications.

But this type of sleazy “Big Brother” activity by the government is not new.

Over the last decade the government has increasingly embraced this type of mass scan method. Edward Snowden’s disclosures revealed the existence of Upstream, a program under FISA Section 702 (set to expire in just a few months). With Upstream, the NSA scans all internet communications going into and out of the United States for surveillance targets’ emails, as well as IP addresses and what the agency has called cybersignatures. And last year Reuters revealed that Yahoo, in compliance with a government order, built custom software to scan hundreds of millions of email accounts for content that contained a digital signature used by surveillance targets. –Wired

Mass facial recognition scans are unconstitutional and a gross violation of human privacy rights. But that has yet to stop the overreaching government from its pursuit of an even more effective method of their goal of dystopian mass surveillance.


takeaction Fri, 09/15/2017 - 22:20 Permalink

Link the new Iphone to your facebook and google places over.  Has been for years. They got us all hooked.  If you own a smartphone...then do not even are being tracked no matter what the hell you say. And if you say that you don't own a phone...or have a non GSM phone...either your a liar or live in a mud hut.  It is the way it is. I love my Samsung Note.  Makes me a shit ton of $$$$$.

Mr. Ed Luc X. Ifer Sat, 09/16/2017 - 19:36 Permalink

Anyone here near a WalMart that has installed cameras at each check-out? I am.

Use a credit card - they got a face matched to a name and all the info that goes with the CC info.

They also have movement information, mannerisms, etc. Soon they'll be selling the vid's to online sites that provide personal data/info and now videos of you for a price. After that, some psyche pinhead will be selling motion and manner analysis software.

What comes after that? Pinheads performing precrime investigations?

People these days are such sheep! They don't get what's going on.

In reply to by Luc X. Ifer

BallAndChained Ben A Drill Sat, 09/16/2017 - 07:11 Permalink

Do you have a computer?Windows 10 records everything you type, say, or do, and records you on video. Sends it all back to Microsoft.Is anybody going to do anything about all this spying? Or just roll over and die?…

  • Typed text on keyboard sent every 30 minutes
  • Anything you say into a microphone is transmitted
  • Transcripts of things you say while using Cortana
  • Index of all media files on your computer
  • When your webcam is first enabled, 35mb of data
  • Telemetry data

In reply to by Ben A Drill

logicalman Gen. Chang Sun, 09/17/2017 - 03:21 Permalink

I don't drive a debtmobile either.I ride a mountain bike for anything less than 10 miles and use public transit for anything else.No insurance, no tax on fuel.Part of what I do to starve the beast.I try to supply as little information as possible to anyone.I have a 1997 vintage Chrysler in storage - might be a classic one day. I just choose not to drive it, 

In reply to by Gen. Chang

ebworthen Fri, 09/15/2017 - 22:24 Permalink

Time to start creating 4-5 fake identities and avatars.Cheekbone and jaw adjusting makeup should help, but when they have the retinal scanners on the iPhone XII, Terminator not far behind.

GRDguy Fri, 09/15/2017 - 22:26 Permalink

People always thought the reason "savages" didn't want their picture taken was "evil spirits."The "savages" were smart enough to know that their enemy would know what THEY looked like,but THEY wouldn't have any idea what their enemy looked like.  Their enemy could be walking right beside them and THEY would have no clue.Some things never change.

ET (not verified) Fri, 09/15/2017 - 22:27 Permalink

Facial recognition technology is already in use at airports.There is a reason why real spies tend to look bland and not like James Bond or some Bond girl.The plainer the looks, the more able the spy. Gray man. Who also needs facial recognition when every body part is now tattooed for instant identification?

ThePhantom Fri, 09/15/2017 - 22:30 Permalink

move to the woods.. join north korea? im not sure. Whatever you do.., don't try to tell the normies whats going on or your sure to suffer dearly

WTFUD Fri, 09/15/2017 - 22:35 Permalink

I'm sure China like Uncle Sham had zero issues with this feature! Apple competing with Facebutt & Google for .Gubby Contracts.