What’s up with Face ID timeouts?

The Loop posted a great summary of Apple’s Face ID security whitepaper.

Two points about how the timeout works really baffled me. Face ID is disabled when:

  • The device hasn’t been unlocked for more than 48 hours.
  • The passcode hasn’t been used to unlock the device in the last 156 hours (six and a half days) and Face ID has not unlocked the device in the last 4 hours.

If the phone hasn’t been unlocked for 48hrs, it’s a good assumption that the phone has been lost or stolen. But why bother disabling Face ID? Is Apple nervous about it’s real-world effectiveness? Nervous that a thief may be able to unlock the phone with their face?

The second timeout seems more arbitrary. Why 156 hours? If I generally only use my phone once every 4hrs 5mins, then after 6.5days I will have to re-authenticate with my passcode? Why? It seems completely arbitrary.

Any smarter security minds out there have any thoughts?

The eLitePhone 5S

I’ve come to the conclusion that the iPhone 5S is too fancy for me.

With the gold-trimmed sapphire home button and the extremely high price tag – topping out at $1040* in Canada; it feels like a $1000 watch to me. I don’t just live a lifestyle (or have the taste for fancy things) that would accommodate a $1000 watch.

Granted the iPhone has always been high-end, but for a long time it has also been the only reasonable option IMHO. The 5C feels more my speed. I can only imagine this divergence in products is a conscious effort by Apple to continue to position themselves as an ultra-high-end retailer.

* including GST + MB PST.

My Teardrop iPhone 5 Prediction

With less than 48hrs to the next iPhone announcement, I thought I’d weigh in on the iPhone 5 teardrop prediction with some first-hand experience.

I have a TV remote that’s roughly teardrop shaped and every single time without fail I hold it upside-down.

In this blogger’s opinion, there will be no teardrop iPhone..

How To Use Your iPhone to Stalk Yourself

It looks like the privacy hippies were finally right about something, your mobile phone really is a pocket sized tracking device.

Turns out that as of iOS 4.0, iPhones have been tracking your physical movements and logging it along with the phone’s backups.

A small team of researchers have discovered these logs in iTune’s backup files, they’ve released a handy little app that collects all the data from your user folder and plots it on a map. iPhoneTracker.app and further information available here.

Here is the visualization of everywhere I’ve been since Sept 28, 2010:

You can see lots of activity in and around Winnipeg (including trips up to the Gimli and Victoria Beach), a flight to Toronto and subsequent travel around southern Ontario and a road trip to Minneapolis. It’s fascinating.

I’m not sure if this is a terrifying privacy hole or a neat little hidden feature. I’m leaning towards neat feature, since the data is stored locally on your computer and can be encrypted automatically by iTunes.

At this point in time a method for disabling the “feature” does not exist. I expect Apple will be responding in short order.

.