Can the dead use Face ID?

cosmichobo

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 4, 2006
416
118
G'day,

My first thought when I heard about a facial recognition system to unlock an iPhone was - Oh, much easier for the FBI to access - just need to wave the phone in front of their person-of-interest's face and gain access - whether they are willing, dead, or alive...

Has this had any kind of test as yet?

cheers

cosmic
 

DiveKitty

macrumors 6502
Oct 31, 2017
407
380
G'day,

My first thought when I heard about a facial recognition system to unlock an iPhone was - Oh, much easier for the FBI to access - just need to wave the phone in front of their person-of-interest's face and gain access - whether they are willing, dead, or alive...

Has this had any kind of test as yet?

cheers

cosmic
And they could not use a dead person’s finger to access via Touch ID? How is Face ID easier than that?

If I am dead, I am not worried about my phone, just saying. Least of all law enforcement getting in.
 

Dented

macrumors 6502a
Oct 16, 2009
935
616
The dead would have to show the phone attention. Unless the dearly departed had already deactivated attention awareness.

Incidentally, it’s my understanding that Touch ID only works with living, attached fingers with a blood flow. But to be clear, I’ve not tested this.
 

joeblow7777

macrumors 603
Sep 7, 2010
5,966
6,755
And they could not use a dead person’s finger to access via Touch ID? How is Face ID easier than that?
TouchID won't work on a dead or severed finger. I think it needs to detect body heat or circulation or something. Disturbingly enough, people frequently asked about this back in 2014 when people were concerned about thieves severing fingers along with stealing phones. Back then, just like now, people came up with the most absurd scenarios to worry about.
 
Last edited:

Wildkraut

macrumors 6502a
Nov 8, 2015
648
742
Germany
G'day,

My first thought when I heard about a facial recognition system to unlock an iPhone was - Oh, much easier for the FBI to access - just need to wave the phone in front of their person-of-interest's face and gain access - whether they are willing, dead, or alive...

Has this had any kind of test as yet?

cheers

cosmic
With access to Software(the corpse), there no protection, regardless if its TouchID or FaceID, and as long it’s not rotten. Lol
 

DiveKitty

macrumors 6502
Oct 31, 2017
407
380
TouchID won't won't work on a dead or severed finger. I think it needs to detect body heat or circulation or something. Disturbingly enough, people frequently asked about this back in 2014 when people were concerned about thieves severing fingers along with steal phones. Back then, just like now, people came up with the most absurd scenarios to worry about.
Did anyone try it on someone freshly dead and still warm? (I am kidding, I find all these what ifs absurd, as well).
[doublepost=1510755206][/doublepost]
LOL. I can see the next thread..."If someone cuts my face off and puts it over their face, will Face ID unlock my phone?"
They can do a remake of Face/Off*!

*No thanks
 

cosmichobo

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 4, 2006
416
118
Good point re using finger on older iPhones - makes one wonder whether the FBI/etc have done that already.

And... to be fair... I did google this question before asking it... but could only find speculation, typically from before the phone actually was in the hands of living people...
 

Newtons Apple

Suspended
Mar 12, 2014
22,764
14,917
Jacksonville, Florida
TouchID won't work on a dead or severed finger. I think it needs to detect body heat or circulation or something. Disturbingly enough, people frequently asked about this back in 2014 when people were concerned about thieves severing fingers along with stealing phones. Back then, just like now, people came up with the most absurd scenarios to worry about.
I have heard stories where a gummy bear cut correctly and finger printed will open finger ID. Does not need to be alive. The sensor is not looking for body heat or blood flow.
 

fischersd

macrumors 601
Oct 23, 2014
4,555
1,279
Vancouver, BC, Canada
Good point re using finger on older iPhones - makes one wonder whether the FBI/etc have done that already.

And... to be fair... I did google this question before asking it... but could only find speculation, typically from before the phone actually was in the hands of living people...
You DO realize what you're asking right? If anyone was living, setup their Face ID, then they died and someone tested if their corpse could still unlock the phone.

How, exactly, would you expect someone to test this? :)

Edit: Oh, and they must have done this since the 3rd....so in the last 12 days, someone was alive, got an iPhone X, set it up, then died and one of their loved ones used their body to hack into their phone.

Brilliant. :)
 

Wildkraut

macrumors 6502a
Nov 8, 2015
648
742
Germany
You DO realize what you're asking right? If anyone was living, setup their Face ID, then they died and someone tested if their corpse could still unlock the phone.

How, exactly, would you expect someone to test this? :)

Edit: Oh, and they must have done this since the 3rd....so in the last 12 days, someone was alive, got an iPhone X, set it up, then died and one of their loved ones used their body to hack into their phone.

Brilliant. :)
Maybe there are some medical examiners under us here, who likes to play marionette after work?!
 

Chino3

macrumors member
Jan 31, 2011
33
16
Isn't it true that if a phone remains locked for 48 hours, you HAVE to use the passcode as it disables the finger/face id function?
 
Last edited:

craigio85

macrumors 6502a
Jun 27, 2017
626
717
United Kingdom
Legalities and ethics aside, yes it would work.
I don’t think there are any legalities preventing this in the UK. A friend’s partner committed suicide in their home and the police took the phone from the body’s pocket and accessed it. As far as i’m aware it wasn’t an iPhone and didn’t have any sort of touch authentication so how they got into it, I’m not sure. The phone was not returned until several weeks later and evidence obtained from the phone was used at the inquest several months later - some of it coming as a surprise to the immediate family and all of it was published in the local newspaper by the court reporter.

I was absolutely horrified at the complete lack of privacy in death, especially considering how much protection there is for living peoples’ privacy.
 
  • Like
Reactions: arkitect

fischersd

macrumors 601
Oct 23, 2014
4,555
1,279
Vancouver, BC, Canada
Maybe there are some medical examiners under us here, who likes to play marionette after work?!
Ah, but setting up Face ID, then validating its use, both with a corpse, really isn't the use case we're talking about here. The owner has to be alive first.

Just doing it entirely with corpses, you may as well just do it with dolls. *ahem* I mean test. Heh. That sentence taken out of context. hehe
 
  • Like
Reactions: Relentless Power

AppleWes

macrumors 6502
Oct 9, 2013
467
379
...interesting this was your first thought (FBI scanning dead body). Talk about red flags.