Face ID vs. Touch ID Authentication

November 24, 2020

Face ID

Have you ever wondered which biometric authentication method is the most secure? In fact, this is the main question: Face ID or Touch ID? Face ID and Touch ID are biometric authentication methods which provide access to your device and store your data securely. In this article, we’re going to talk about these biometric modalities. At first, we’ll explain Touch ID authentication, its advantages and disadvantages. Then, we’ll do the same for Face ID and finally, we’ll compare these two against each other. So, let’s dig in deeper.


Touch ID 

In simple words, Touch ID is a fingerprint reader. It works through a color-matched, steel ring surrounding the home button and it detects your fingerprint. When you place your finger on the home button, a sensor takes a high-resolution image of your fingerprint. This image is compared with what was stored as your fingerprint. If they’re similar, you’ll manage to unlock your phone and your purchase will be authorized.


Advantages of Fingerprint Authentication

  • Immediate and fast unlocking: Biometric fingerprint technology is significantly faster than traditional authentication systems like passwords, patterns, etc. This system provides fast and immediate access control to your device.
  • Easy to use: Biometric fingerprint authentication is more comfortable than old biometric methods. With this technology, there is no need to memorize long and complicated passwords. All you have to do is touch your home button.
  • High security: This technology is very secure. That’s why, it has become so popular. Since fingerprints are unique to each individual and they barely change over time. So, your valuable information remains inaccessible.
  • Accuracy: A biometric fingerprint reader provides hundred percent accuracy and it’s a perfect solution for authentication. These facts make fingerprint technology one of the most accurate biometric modalities.


Disadvantages of Fingerprint Authentication

  • Costly: Although fingerprint authentication is highly secure, this advanced technology requires special hardware and software programs, which may be quite expensive. Keep in mind that high security systems demand expensive hardware and software.
  • Risk your security: Like all the other authentication technologies, this technology has its own weaknesses. As you know, you leave fingerprints on everything you touch. So, hackers can easily forge it and break into your device.
  • Different types, different levels of security: Fingerprint authentication has numerous types. Accoring to the components and the technology behind its operation, each type provides different levels of security.



Face ID 

Face recognition is a new biometric authentication modality. When you first register with Face ID, all you need to do is move your face around. At this point, a TrueDepth camera, which has the most advanced software and hardware, captures images of your facial features. Then, it creates a depth map of your face by analyzing several invisible spots. This depth map enables Face ID to instantly recognize your identity.


Advantages of Face ID Authentication

  • Using machine learning: One of the biggest advantages of Face ID authentication is that, it relies on machine learning algorithm. In other words, this system analyzes detailed dots of your face instead of capturing a simple image. Thanks to machine learning, facial authentication is able to recognize changes over time like facial hair loss, make up, etc.
  • Eye detection technology: This amazing feature significantly improves your security. In fact, eye detection technology can tell if the person is alive or not. Moreover, no one can break into your phone while you are sleeping.
  • Infrared images: Thanks to the infrared light, which lights up your face while capturing images, Face ID can function in the dark.
  • Faster and simpler: To unlock your phone, all you need to do is hold your phone in front of your face. So, there is no need to press your finger on the home button. This feature reduces the number of touch points.


Disadvantages of Face ID Authentication:

  • Risks to individual privacy: The threat to someone’s privacy is the biggest weakness of Face ID authentication. It is unpleasant for some people to have their face recorded and stored in the cloud.
  • Bugs: A few bugs have been reported by a number of users around the world. For instance, face recognition won’t work well if you put on certain sunglasses, although it works with most glasses. Moreover, if your background is too bright, Face ID authentication won’t work. Eventually, we need to mention that, in some cases, Face ID can be fooled by twins.
  • Not COVID-friendly: Face ID authentication recognizes your identity by scanning your nose, eyes and mouth. So, if they’re covered by masks during this pandemic, you’ll have some difficulties unlocking your phone.



Studies show that Face ID authentication is generally less secure than fingerprint recognition. That is because your fingerprint is unique and even twins have different fingerprints. But your facial features are not like that. Many users have reported that their family members were about to break into their phone. Eventually, choosing between Face ID and Touch ID depends on your personal preference.





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