In the three days since Apple took the wraps offÂ the iPhone X, the forthcoming device’s facial recognition capabilitiesÂ have drawn a substantial amount of attention.
Apple fansÂ have welcomed Face ID as the future and the preferred way to unlock an iPhone X. Some privacy advocatesÂ have pointed out that the concept seems a little dystopian.
But others, like Minnesota Sen. Al Franken, who chairs a Senate privacy committee,Â want answers about how it works.
While Apple provided few details about the facial recognition system duringÂ the announcement aÂ few days ago, the company now says it plans to release more informationÂ about Face ID privacy and security before the device goes on sale on NovemberÂ 3.
Apple’s senior vice president for software, Craig Federighi, said that Apple plans to release a security “white paper” on Face ID in an interview with TechCrunchÂ on Friday. Apple often releases detailed, technical reports it calls white papers on critical security features.Â
One of the commonÂ misconceptions about Face ID that AppleÂ isÂ keen to dispel is that Apple is building a database of faces with its new feature.Â “Face ID data never leaves the device, is encrypted and protected by the Secure Enclave,” an Apple representative told Business Insider.Â
“We do not gather customer data when you enroll in Face ID, it stays on your device, we do not send it to the cloud for training data,â€ Federighi told TechCrunch.Â
An Apple representative provided this statement in response to a question from about Franken’s request for information:
Our teams have been developing the technologies behind Face ID for several years, and our usersâ€™ privacy has been a priority since the very beginning.
Face ID provides intuitive and secure authentication enabled by the TrueDepth camera system and the A11 Bionic chip, which uses advanced technologies to accurately map and match the geometry of a user’s face. Face ID data never leaves the device, is encrypted and protected by the Secure Enclave.
Weâ€™ve tested Face ID on people from many countries, cultures, races and ethnicities, using over one billion images to train our neural networks and defend against spoofing.
Weâ€™re confident that our customers will love using the feature and find it an easy and natural way to unlock their iPhone X. We will offer more details on Face ID as we near the productâ€™s availability.
A Franken representative did not immediately respond to a inquiryÂ about whether Apple has replied to the senator.Â