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Phones

Google will update Face Unlock on the Pixel 4 to detect open eyes

By Anton D. Nagy October 21, 2019, 6:00 am

Google decided to ditch fingerprint scanners on the Pixel 4 smartphones and, instead, go with Face Unlock, advertised as being secure. As we recently found out, Pixel 4 units can be unlocked with Face Unlock even if your eyes are closed, which could lead to serious security and privacy issues.

In a statement to Pocketnow, Google admitted that it is “working on an option for users to require their eyes to be open to unlock the phone, which will be delivered in a software update in the coming months“.

In many ways, Google’s Face Unlock on the Pixel 4 is similar to Apple’s Face ID on the iPhone. It uses the same infrared methodology to map and scan your face. However, Apple does require the user to have their eyes open. Attention detection also requires that those open eyes look at the display, not elsewhere, a feature which can be disabled by the user from the Settings.

You can find the full Google statement below:

We’ve been working on an option for users to require their eyes to be open to unlock the phone, which will be delivered in a software update in the coming months. In the meantime, if any Pixel 4 users are concerned that someone may take their phone and try to unlock it while their eyes are closed, they can activate a security feature that requires a pin, pattern or password for the next unlock. Pixel 4 face unlock meets the security requirements as a strong biometric, and can be used for payments and app authentication, including banking apps. It is resilient against invalid unlock attempts via other means, like with masks

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