Apple did say during the iPhone X keynote that Face ID wasn’t twin-safe, but that didn’t stop media outlets like Mashable and Business Insider from conducting their own “twin tests” to demonstrate that Apple’s 3D facial recognition system is not absolutely secure.

Identical twins Greg and Brian Fieber have failed to fool Face ID in Business Insider’s test. “I was pretty shocked that the iPhone X could really pick apart the details between me and my brother, considering some of our own family members can’t tell us apart,” said one of the twins.

On the other hand, Mashable has managed to find two sets of identical twins who are indeed capable of thwarting Face ID. Here’s Mashable’s video demonstration.

In the following video, The Wall Street Journal’s Joana Stern attempts to defeat Face ID using siblings, identical triplets and a well crafted theatrical mask.

Other people have posted their own “twin test” videos to YouTube as well.

Now, while identical twins bypassing Face ID security is nothing new—Apple itself admits that identical twins may want to use the passcode instead—we need to put this in some context.

The numbers we need come from the University of Texas.

According to their study, about 32 out of a thousand people are twins, or about three percent of the population. However, the rate for identical twins is only 3.5 per 1,000 births.

As Forbes puts it, that means that the novelty of breaking into an iPhone X by tricking Face ID only applies to about one third of one percent of the population, or about 0.35 percent at most. And the fact that Face ID twin tests produce different results suggests that only a certain subset of identical twins can bypass Face ID, which could significantly lower that number.

“If it takes a truly identical twin to maybe be able to fool Face ID, then for the 99.997 percent of the population of the world who are not part of a set of identical twins,” notes Forbes.

While Face ID is pretty damn secure in terms of identical twins, a proof-of-concept video posted today showed Face ID can be thrown off using a specially crafted face mask.

Bottom line: security features like Touch ID and Face ID are more of a convenience than unbreakable security, but they’re more than good enough for average consumers who just want their data protected from the prying eyes.

Apple says there’s a one in a million chance that a random person in the population could look at your iPhone X and unlock it using Face ID versus 1 in 50,000 for Touch ID. The company notes in the Face ID Security Guide that the probability of a false match is different for twins and siblings that look like you.

“If you’re concerned about this, we recommend using a passcode to authenticate,” it advises.

Do you have a twin? And if so, what’s your Face ID situation?

Post your comment below.

  • Titan3636

    My twin 6 year olds fool it every time. Always unlocks.

    • askep3

      You have to be older than 12 or 13 because unique facial features aren’t developed until then

      • Titan3636

        so that is why older twins are beating it?

      • askep3

        Who is even talking about that all I said is that under 12 or 13 it’s going to work even worse. Idk why with people like you it’s such a big deal that twins beat it it’s such a small percentage and twins should usually trust each other rather than the relatively low accuracy of touch ID

    • Timothy

      Why does your 6-year-old have an iPhone X…????

      • It’s the times we live in now. iPhones are more than just phones now. They offer a lot of fun games and educational apps for kids. My son had one at 5.

      • Timothy

        You’d trust a *first-grader* with an easily breakable device that cost ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS?

      • I saved up all my money in High School to buy the iPhone 3G… Times have most certainly changed.

      • :D

        Some people can afford it

      • Titan3636

        I tested it on my kids to see with it in my hand.

      • I don’t think I ever made reference to an iPhone X.

      • Titan3636

        I tried it with mine. C’mon

  • SpideyRules

    If someone wants to get in my phone so badly they’re using advanced techniques, then I’M the one doing something wrong and need to rethink who is in my life.

    • Titan3636

      Exactly. Criminals don’t even use fingerprint unlocks I’m sure. Just 6 digit pass codes.



    (couldn’t resist )

  • Rowan09

    No such thing as unbreakable security.

    • There is actually. No security. Can’t break what isn’t there :3

      • Rowan09

        You win the Internet for today. ??

    • Apart from a one time pad. When used correctly, there’s no way to crack that. Only flaw in that form of encryption is the humans that (miss)use it.

  • […] find two sets of identical twins […]

    How is it “two sets”? #ChristianZibregTypos

  • Agnar Hroarsen

    To use the number of twins in the world to come up with some sort of percentage of the safety of Face ID seems like oversimplification to me. And to sort of hail 99,997% as a good and safe number seems a bit odd. Iphone X preorders were – what – 40 million-ish?
    Apparently, they don’t even need much hacking skills.
    Any local MacGyver can make a facemask fcs.