While unveiling iPhone X, Apple made a statement to this end:

With Touch ID, it stated that there was a 1 in 50,000 chance that someone would be able to open your phone with their fingerprint. These numbers were a little better for Face ID, at 1 in 1,000,000.

This seems strange as fingerprints are known to be quite unique, though I'm not sure how unique one's face is.

In this answer, a graph puts face lower in security to fingerprint: https://security.stackexchange.com/questions/144428/how-secure-is-a-fingerprint-sensor-versus-a-standard-password

Are these claims (by Apple) realistic and what is the possible maths behind them?


2 Answers 2


Fingerprints ARE unique, but the technology to detect the fingerprints is not fool-proof. The detection of fingerprints works on probability basis. It is because of non-perfect technology that the chance comes down to 1:50000.

In case of FaceID, the technology to detect the face is superior, and that makes the chance come to 1:1 million.


Many people already mentioned it, but i feel like doing it as well... Biometrics are not foolproof and can be cheated. It takes more time and needs preparation. In a real case scenario, i can't think of many people who would carry powder and special tapes to extract a fingerprint over my phone and replicate it in some plastic material to cheat the sensor, or get good pictures of my face at a club to steal my phone and be able to unlock it. Someone must be a real target to undergo such preparation. So for everyday users and use situations it is actually pretty handy and safe. But never hack-proof.

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