The short answer is YES, your iPhone takes invisible photos of you all the time. The device takes an infrared image of your face every five seconds while it is turned on. The pictures taken are used for your Face ID to unlock your smartphone device automatically.
Apple's iPhone is one of the highest-selling smartphone devices in the market. The tech giant advertises its merchandise to be top-of-the-line, with its advanced technologies and premium security features. One of its selling points is the Face ID feature, where an iPhone identifies the user and automatically unlocks the phone without further prompting. However, the Face ID uses a controversial method when running its system.
Apple iPhone Takes Invisible Photos
The details were first shared by a TikTok user named Brie Thomason. She is a photographer who managed to film an iPhone snapping infrared photos every five to 10 seconds. The iPhone continues capturing images, even when the camera is blocked or the screen is locked. The video immediately got 259 thousand likes, 4033 comments, and 20 thousand shares as of time of writing.
Fox8 reported that the discovery caused many users to panic. In addition, it opened up issues on privacy and security for iPhone users. Smartphones have become an essential part of our lives, and needless to say, they are carried everywhere you go. So it is horrifying to know that iPhone is taking new photos all the time.
Apple Explains Infrared Camera
Apple responds to the issue through their support page by explaining the Face ID advanced technology. The article started by saying that Face ID improves security for your personal information rather than exploiting it.
Face ID uses a revolutionized authentication method using facial recognition. It uses a TrueDepth camera system that accurately maps the geometry of your face. TrueDepth projects and analyzes your face with over 30,000 invisible dots and captures it through the infrared image of your face. The infrared image is converted to a mathematical representation and enrolled in your smartphone as facial data.
Face ID and your facial data adapt to circumstances where you change your appearance. This includes wearing make-up, growing or removing facial hair. Face ID also works around hats, scarves, glasses and sunglasses. In addition, it works well even on indoors, outdoors and in total darkness!
Apple emphasizes that they take the security of their users seriously. The Face ID data received from your smartphone is encrypted and protected with a key available only to the Secure Enclave. They also note that the TrueDepth camera system has a tamper-detection feature. If signs of tampering are detected, the system automatically disables itself for safety reasons.
Also, note that the TrueDepth camera system is safe to use. The system will not harm the eyes or skin due to its low output nature. It is also a non-intrusive system that accurately analyzes your face and personal data.
However, you can disable the option altogether for people who prefer not to use the Face ID and TrueDepth camera feature. Head to
- Open "Face ID & Passcode"
- Open "Use Face ID"
- Toggle off "iPhone Unlock" or "iPad Unlock."