Google’s Pixel 4 Face Unlock Works Even If Your Eyes Are Closed

The company decided to remove fingerprint sensor on the device, fully supporting its first-gen face unlock feature.

Published19 Oct 2019, 07:44 AM IST
Tech News
2 min read

Google has recently launched its latest Pixel 4 series smartphones with face unlock for biometric authentication, which will not be coming to India this year.

The search engine giant has been talking highly about its Face Unlock's security that the it decided to remove all the fingerprint sensors from the device. But this feature comes with a major flaw, allowing anybody to unlock the device, even if the user isn’t looking at it, or has their eyes closed.

This revelation has been made by Google itself, spotted in the help section of the Pixel support page on its website. In addition to telling the user how to setup the face unlock on Pixel 4, Google has also pointed out the way its biometric security feature works.

Google has assured users that the Face ID registered doesn’t leave the device, they aren’t stored anywhere or shared with other Google services or apps. Having said that, what concerns us more is the paragraph that follows below.

Looking at your phone can unlock it even when you don’t intend to. Your phone can be unlocked by someone who looks a lot like you, like an identical sibling. Your phone can also be unlocked by someone else if it’s held up to your face, even if your eyes are closed.  
Google Pixel support page

This is likely to raise a few eyebrows in the tech community, especially as Google thought that highlighting these issues won’t come back to haunt them. After all, Google is vying for a space in the premium smartphone segment, where Apple has pioneered the Face ID tech, without raising the alarm bells for many years now.

The Pixel 4 has been in the news for varied reasons, mostly for its shortcomings. The Soli radar, one of the many reasons because of which the phone won’t be launching in India, hasn’t proved its worth yet. And the fact that the Face unlock lets other people unlock the device by showing it to your face, is another security mishap waiting to happen.

We’re hoping that Google decides to fool-proof this aspect of the phone, or else, the Pixel 4 might fail to attract buyers, wherever it will go on sale.

We'll get through this! Meanwhile, here's all you need to know about the Coronavirus outbreak to keep yourself safe, informed, and updated.

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