The loss of Touch ID
You can embrace the bold, 3D mapping future promised by Apple’s new Face ID while at the same time bemoaning the loss of Touch ID. While it may not work on the edge-to-edge OLED display of the iPhone X, at least not yet, Touch ID has grown over the years into one of the fastest, most secure biometric unlocking system of any modern smartphone, if not the best. Losing it will be an annoying compromise for many X buyers who must now contend with a new, unproven system. The verdict’s still out on whether Face ID will seamlessly work for users of all colors and ethnicities, a severe bias hurdle tech companies, which are primarily white and male, have fallen victim to in the past. (Apple says the tech will work in the dark and adapt to changes in your appearance, like the inclusion of hats and glasses, over time.)
There’s also a growing debate over what it means for law enforcement, who can easily point the device at you to unlock your iPhone, as opposed to compelling you to put your thumb on the device’s home button or copying it from a fingerprint record. (For reference, you do not have to give law enforcement your numeric passcode, as that’s protected by the Fifth Amendment as “testimonial” evidence). There is a way to instantly disable Face ID by pressing the side button on the iPhone X five times, but that seems like a messy workaround that could go wrong in stressful situations. So it’s safe to say that there is a real possibility Face ID is arriving too soon for society to have fully worked out its implications.