Could your kid's face unlock your iPhone X?

A family posts a YouTube video showing a 10-year-old unlocking his mom's new iPhone with Face ID.

Erin Carson Former Senior Writer
Erin Carson covered internet culture, online dating and the weird ways tech and science are changing your life.
Expertise Erin has been a tech reporter for almost 10 years. Her reporting has taken her from the Johnson Space Center to San Diego Comic-Con's famous Hall H. Credentials
  • She has a master's degree in journalism from Syracuse University.
Erin Carson
2 min read

Lots of people look like their parents.

One family in Staten Island, New York, is guessing that familial resemblance is letting a 10-year-old boy unlock his mother's iPhone X using Face ID.

The family posted a video of the facial-recognition feat Tuesday on YouTube. Ammar Malik looks intently at the phone for a second or two, before unlocking Sana Sherwani's phone with his "handsome face," he quips in the 41-second video before he dabs in triumph.

Attaullah Malik, Ammar's father, said in a LinkedIn direct message to CNET that his son's face cannot always unlock his mother's phone. 

"We know how to reproduce the issue under certain lighting conditions in one of our bedrooms," he said, adding that they'll be testing it out in other lighting conditions. 

Apple declined to comment, referring CNET to its support page for Face ID. A section of the page on security safeguards notes, "The statistical probability is different for twins and siblings that look like you and among children under the age of 13, because their distinct facial features may not have fully developed. If you're concerned about this, we recommend using a passcode to authenticate."

The page also talks about the possibility of inadvertently training your phone. If Face ID detects a close match to your face and then a passcode is entered, it'll update its data accordingly.

Watch this: Kid fools Face ID, unlocks mom's iPhone X

Apple has been promoting Face ID as far more secure than Touch ID, which reads fingerprints to unlock a phone. Apple has noted that the odds of a random person unlocking your phone would be one in 1,000,000 for Face ID versus one in 50,000 for Touch ID. The biometric security feature is considered one of the major advances in Apple's premier new phone, which launched earlier this month.

First published, November 14, 9:04 a.m. PT.
Update, 10:03 a.m. PT: Adds comments from Attaullah Malik.