Google put a lot of stress on its latest facial recognition solution during the unveiling of the Pixel 4 series. The company was so confident on the facial recognition that it removed the fingerprint sensor from its latest flagship device. However, it turns out that Pixel 4 face unlock feature is not that secure as it is advertised.
The Pixel 4 will unlock the smartphone even if the eyes of the users are closed. This simply means that anyone around you can get unauthorized access to the latest Pixel by pointing out the camera when you are asleep. And this is not even a bug that has been discovered by early Pixel 4 users, it is a feature from the search-engine giant. Google has gone with the idea that face unlocks should work even when the eyes of the users are closed.
Google, on its support page, says, “our phone can also be unlocked by someone else if it’s held up to your face, even if your eyes are closed. Keep your phone in a safe place, like your front pocket or handbag”. BBC’s Chris Fox demonstrated this flaw via a video clip on Twitter. The video shows that the Pixel 4 can be easily unlocked even when his eyes were closed.
— Chris Fox (@thisisFoxx) October 15, 2019
This is a serious security flaw. Imagine you fell asleep during your commute on a train or something. Anyone can unlock your smartphone by simply pointing out to your face. This intensifies the risk of data theft. Much worse things could happen as well like you being robbed via banking apps that are secured with the face unlock feature.
Google is quite arrogant with the whole face unlock fiasco as it simply refuses to believe that unlocking the phone with eyes shut is not a great threat. The company has not even cared to give an option where users can choose to use face unlock feature with eyes closed or open. Take the example of Samsung, the Korean brand gives you an option to choose between above-said options.
The company has clearly mentioned that if a user requires faster recognition, he/she can switch on the option to scan the face with eyes shut. However, the brand has also cautioned that it is a less secure thing to do. But it seems that for Google is not an important thing. Furthermore, to add insult to injury, the company insist that if a user is so concerned about the security, he/she can enable lockdown mode. This can be done by going to Settings > Display > Advance > Lock Screen Display > Show lockdown option. However, users need to go through this every time they take a nap or go to sleep.