Facebook is reportedly testing the use of Face ID and Touch ID as a means to make its iOS Messenger App more secure.
When enabled, users will need to authenticate their identity using Face ID, Touch ID, or their passcode before they can view their inbox, even if their phone is already unlocked, reads a new 9to5Mac report.
Developer Jane Manchun Wong discovered references to Face ID support hidden within an existing Messenger build. The screenshot below explains how it might work, and reveals some security options.
Facebook Messenger is working on “Face ID” app lock
It can be enabled right after the user leave Messenger or after a duration
It seems Face ID will NOT be sent to, or stored by Facebook’s servers, according to the description shown in the screenshot pic.twitter.com/pqBQAjOrnd
— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) January 23, 2020
“We want to give people more choices and controls to protect their private messages, and recently, we began testing a feature that lets you unlock the Messenger app using your device’s settings,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement. “It’s an added layer of privacy to prevent someone else from accessing your messages.”
Screenshots reveal that users would be able to toggle the new security feature on or off and that you can choose the timing of the feature from the following options; “After I leave Messenger,” “1 minute after leaving,” “15 minutes after leaving,” and “1 hour after leaving.”
The feature is being tested amongst “a small percentage of Messenger’s iOS users’ but could soon be available more widely, as well on Android.