Security and Inconvenience: How Important Is Your Personal Data?
Security, like it or not, is consistently inconvenient.
“IN ITS QUEST for hardware perfection,” Andy Greenberg of WIRED writes, “Apple can’t seem to resist testing the balance between making things easy and making them secure.”
During their 2017 keynote, Apple introduced the unexpected iPhone X—a culmination of a decade of development in smartphone technology—complete with face-recognition technology designed to make it easier than ever to access the increasingly personal and private contents of our mobile devices. As Greenberg cites, Apple exec Phil Schiller called such capabilities “the future of how we’ll unlock our smartphones and protect our sensitive information.”
It’s an enticing promise that paints the iPhone X as, unsurprisingly, the long-awaited future: the technological moment we’ve all been waiting for. And yet in the excitement and hype around new, body-integrating privacy settings and security systems, it’s worth pausing to ask:
Is the relative inconvenience—a few more clicks on your screen—worth it, when personal data and security are on the line?
Because we all increasingly live our lives through our devices—tying our bank accounts, our photo albums, our password-protected social media accounts and sensitive email messages to the devices we use daily—privacy has become top-of-mind as unexpected hacks and wide-spread security breaches make all of us, well, a little more insecure about the digital world.
As Greenberg points out,
“Researchers at the University of North Carolina last year showed that they could use Facebook photos alone to reconstruct a 3-D virtual model of someone’s face that could defeat five different facial-recognition applications they tested it against, with between 55 and 85 percent success rates.”
This blog continually wrestles with, wonders about, and even questions the concept of “technology for good,” and presses the question: Is a passcode truly an inconvenience? What good does facial recognition technology give to our digital world? To our device-driven lives? To our increasingly insecure online identities?
Until such technologies can prove more than the latest update in an at-times frantic pursuit for our faster and easier access to our own devices, the question should really come down to the benefits and the potential costs. Are you willing to give up a passcode you keep silently recorded in your own mind for a password as easy to read—and easy to access—as your profile picture?
The iPhone X comes out later this year. Will you enable face-recognition the minute it becomes available? Why or why not. Tell us your thoughts in the comments below, or get in touch at Info@.2ndgear.com!
And if you’re in the market for other Apple products—like tablets or laptops–check out our e-store for refurbished Apple gear.