Friday, October 18, 2019

Pixel 4 launches with huge face unlock issue

Google's Pixel 4 launched only a few days ago and a major issue with the device's face unlock has been discovered. Google claims that it is a fast and accurate method of authentication with a motion detection feature added but it appears that the Pixel 4 has a flaw as it can be unlocked even when the user isn't looking at their phone or their eyes are closed.  This problem is not just a bug that pixel 4 users have discovered but google itself has warned users that their pixel 4 could be unlocked even when their eyes are closed or even when someone holds the phone up to their face without them knowing.


The Pixel 4's top bezel houses a lot of technology such as dual face unlock IR cameras, flood illuminator, dot projector, a front-facing camera and Soli radar chip, all of which work together to recognize facial data for authentication. But what is the purpose of having all that if the phone can be unlocked when your eyes are closed. This is, for obvious reasons, a privacy concern. It allows attackers or authorities to  easily gain access to a person’s device without their permission.
               
Whether the user is asleep or restrained, the Pixel 4 only needs to be raised toward their face for someone to gain access. Google warns users to keep their device in a safe place to avoid this type of attack and reminds them of Android’s lockdown functionality, which disables biometric unlocking so the device can only be unlocked with a PIN.

We will update this article as we learn more about the Pixel 4’s face unlock system.

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