Incident 32: Identical Twins Can Open Apple FaceID Protected Devices

Description: Apple's iPhone FaceID can be opened by an identical twin of the person who has registered their face to unlock the phone.


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Alleged: Apple developed and deployed an AI system, which harmed People with Twins.

Incident Stats

Incident ID
Report Count
Incident Date
Sean McGregor

CSETv0 Taxonomy Classifications

Taxonomy Details

Full Description

Apple's iPhone FaceID can be opened by an identical twin of the person who has registered their face to unlock the phone. In iPhone's FaceID technology a TrueDepth camera is used to read the contours of the user's face, and determine whether that face matches the benchmark of the owner's face. The Youtube channel LifeofTwinz displayed how two identical twins could unlock each other's phones by exploiting that system.

Short Description

Apple's iPhone FaceID can be opened by an identical twin of the person who has registered their face to unlock the phone.



Harm Distribution Basis

Other:Identical twins

Harm Type

Harm to civil liberties, Other:Privacy

AI System Description

Apple iPhone's FaceID utilizes TrueDepth cameras to read the contours of a user's face and determine match/not match to the registered phone owner's face.

System Developer


Sector of Deployment

Information and communication

Relevant AI functions

Perception, Cognition, Action

AI Techniques

facial recognition, TrueDepth

AI Applications

facial recognition



Named Entities

Apple, TrueDepth, LifeofTwinz

Technology Purveyor


Beginning Date


Ending Date


Near Miss




Lives Lost


Data Inputs

facial contour

Apple iPhone X: Could a Twin Trick the Face ID? · 2017

The iPhone X made its highly-anticipated debut Tuesday at Apple’s keynote event and one of its standout features is what the company calls Face ID. Gone is the fingerprint-required Touch ID, and in is a facial recognition software that allo…

Apple: don't use Face ID on an iPhone X if you're under 13 or have a twin · 2017

The iPhone X might be the future of Apple’s smartphone design, but its lauded Face ID facial recognition system has an issue with people under 13: it’s much more difficult to tell them apart.

In a security guide published Wednesday, Apple r…

iPhone X's Face ID: How does it handle beards, makeup, wrinkles? Apple explains · 2017

Image: Apple/CNET

Apple has already said the iPhone X's facial-recognition system, Face ID, could be a problem for people with an evil twin. They'll have to use a passcode to keep their data secure. Or get an iPhone 8 with Touch ID, since t…

iPhone X Face ID: The reasons it may not work · 2017

Apple has released detailed information on how its new Face ID system works. The facial recognition tech, a cornerstone of the soon–to–be–released iPhone X, has been lauded for its security prowess.

However, having failed to work properly d…

Early Face ID tests show varying results for twins using facial recognition to unlock iPhone X · 2017

There’s been a flood of iPhone X reviews surfacing this week and we’re hearing (and seeing) more details about Face ID. While Apple has touted that Face ID is more secure than Touch ID, it also shared that this isn’t the case for twins and …

Is the iPhone X's facial recognition twin compatible? · 2017

We put Apple's 'Face ID' technology to the test with twins. Facebook, friends, and even relatives get these identical twins mixed up all the time. But what about the iPhone X's facial recognition software?

The iPhone X's Face ID can be fooled by identical twins · 2017

The iPhone X has a weakness for identical twins.

It can’t really tell the difference.

It's the first Apple device to include Face ID, a face-mapping technology that can be used unlock the phone, verify Apple Pay, and essentially replaces th…

iPhone X Face ID 'Twin Tests' Emerge With Mixed Results · 2017

With both sets of twins, the other twin unlocked the iPhone X, even though neither one had registered his face with Face ID on the iPhone X. With the Franklin twins, we had both brothers remove their glasses and had the other brother regist… · 2017

When Apple announced its $1k iPhone X back in September, we learned they were ditching the home screen button log-in for something snazzier: facial recognition.

The company touted it as a more secure upgrade to its existing TouchID feature …

We put the iPhone X's Face ID to the ultimate test with identical twins -- and the results surprised us · 2017

Business Insider got an exclusive look at the iPhone X, and, naturally, we tried to beat its facial-recognition feature by having one twin register his face and the other try to break in.

The following is a transcript of the video.

Greg: Gr…

Does iPhone X Facial Recognition Work On Twins? Mashable Tested It Out And, Well, Whoops · 2017

Everyone's talking about the iPhone X, and for one reason in particular: its Face ID. This is Apple's attempt at conquering biometric security, and it could be either a huge success or a giant letdown. To see just how accurately the iPhone …

A man was able to use Face ID to unlock his brother’s new iPhone X · 2017

The new $1,000 rectangle from Apple has a troubling security flaw.

In a video posted to Reddit on Friday (Nov. 3), two brothers demonstrate that they can both unlock one brother’s new iPhone X using its Face ID facial recognition security o…

Enough Already With The Stupid Face ID 'Twin Test' · 2017

The iPhone X is here, and with it Apple’s new biometric authentication—Face ID. All week I have seen videos attempting to demonstrate whether or not an identical twin can dupe Face ID and allow someone other than the actual iPhone owner to …

Apple's Face ID tech can't tell two Chinese women apart · 2017

A CHINESE WOMAN has been offered a refund on her iPhone X after she discovered that her colleague could unlock the device Face ID.

Apple has long claimed that the technology behind Face ID is the "most advanced" it has ever created and says… · 2017

A worker in the Chinese city of Nanjing claims a colleague has bested the facial recognition technology on her new iPhone X — twice.

The woman, identified only by her surname Yan, told the Jiangsu Broadcasting Corp. that her co-worker was a…

Double trouble: Russian twins to sue Apple as iPhone X’s Face ID fails to tell them apart · 2018

VLADIMIR, January 30. /TASS/. Twin brothers from the Russian city of Vladimir are demanding 20 mln rubles (over $357,000) in compensation from Apple because the Face ID feature of their new iPhone X smartphones cannot tell them apart, their…

Top 5 AI Failures From 2017 Which Prove That ‘Perfect AI’ Is Still A Dream · 2018

We have in the past seen instances such as the failure of Microsoft bot Tay, when it developed a tendency to come up with racist remarks. Within 24 hours of its existence and interaction with people, it starting sending offensive comments, …

Distinguishing Identical Twins · 2018

ACM News Distinguishing Identical Twins

The challenges of using facial recognition systems to identify identical twins are amplified by their similarity, although like parents, facial recognition systems are beginning to be able to tell the…

Face ID on iPhone XS Fooled by Identical Twins · 2018

When Apple debuted Face ID with the iPhone X in 2017, it claimed it was even more secure than Touch ID. While this might be true, the biggest issues with Face ID are that it is slower than Touch ID and despite being more secure, it could be…

Face ID fails to recognize difference between twins · 2018

Apple’s foolproof Face ID system looks like it has met its match.

Even though Face ID is supposed to faster on the iPhone XS and XS Max, it appears that the security system can be completely fooled by identical twins. If you’ve got a siblin…

iPhone owners baffled by Apple's Face ID ‘not available’ error · 2018

IPHONE users are complaining that Face ID has stopped working on their handsets, The Sun has learned.

The mysterious issue means that Apple's face unlock technology no longer recognises faces – forcing users to rely on passcodes instead.



A "variant" is an incident that shares the same causative factors, produces similar harms, and involves the same intelligent systems as a known AI incident. Rather than index variants as entirely separate incidents, we list variations of incidents under the first similar incident submitted to the database. Unlike other submission types to the incident database, variants are not required to have reporting in evidence external to the Incident Database. Learn more from the research paper.

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