No family purchases on Face ID and Apple’s not talking about it


If you’re trying to buy an app for your kids with Face ID on the iPhone X, you probably know that you can’t. You have to put in your Apple ID credentials instead. And if you have any other iPhone with Touch ID, you at least have that authentication method at the very least.

So, what’s up with family organizer purchases — also known as Ask to Buy — getting locked out? Face ID is integrated into the entry processes for many secured apps like Facebook, banking apps and Apple Pay — and adults wouldn’t want their naughty kids coming into those accounts, right?

Well, Apple won’t say, but it was Ars Technica that first pointed this out and it was Ars that suggests that the higher likelihood that a relative’s face could match the one (and only one) on file for Face ID on an iPhone X could be preventing the feature from spreading. We’ve reported on quite a few odd matches between siblings, parent and child and even completely unrelated people.

Apple claims that the chance of a false positive on Face ID was a million to one compared to Touch ID’s 50,000 to 1 odds. The company has yet to admit any major faults in its security flowchart and to address this issue may require Infinite Loop to admit it. It’s one possibility of many, though.

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About The Author
Jules Wang
Jules Wang is News Editor for Pocketnow and one of the hosts of the Pocketnow Weekly Podcast. He came onto the team in 2014 as an intern editing and producing videos and the podcast while he was studying journalism at Emerson College. He graduated the year after and entered into his current position at Pocketnow, full-time.