Galaxy Note 8 facial recognition dubious as flat image authenticates a store unit

When it comes to non-contact biometrics scanning on mobile devices, we’ve seen a pretty cruddy track record when it comes to false authentications. Samsung has led the way as the most prominent OEM to feature the tech and has, unfortunately, been the case study on this trend.

So we shouldn’t be surprised that there’s some skepticism and controversy on the facial recognition feature of the Galaxy Note 8 just released. One Mel Tajon was able to get a false positive result on a Note 8 display unit at a Best Buy, using a flat, digital image of his face to “authenticate”:

The Galaxy S8 caught flack for having the same flaw with facial recognition.

SamMobile, in trying to replicate the flaw, was not successfully able to do so. It chalked up the supposed vulnerability to the nature of the phone as a display unit at a retail store. The demonstration mode is made so that many consumers can touch it, but the ultimate control is left with store employees. That means making the facial authentication process not really meaningful.

The thing is, CNET was able to replicate Tajon’s outcome without the “Retail Mode” on. And Samsung doesn’t claim that authentication method to be “bulletproof” anyways. So, we’re still in net negative territory on this security aspect and have yet to progress above these sorts of antics.

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About The Author
Jules Wang
Jules Wang is News Editor for Pocketnow and one of the hosts of the Pocketnow Weekly Podcast. He came onto the team in 2014 as an intern editing and producing videos and the podcast while he was studying journalism at Emerson College. He graduated the year after and entered into his current position at Pocketnow, full-time.