Google Pixel 4 smartphone face unlock flaw exposed
Just days before its official release, a serious security flaw on Google’s new Pixel 4 smartphone has been revealed in its face unlock system.
The Pixel 4 face unlock feature – which maps your entire face – can be used to unlock the device even when your eyes are closed.
Google admits as much in the fine print in the Pixel 4 settings.
It says: “your phone can be unlocked by someone else if it’s held up to your face, even if your eyes are closed”.
There is no way to change in the settings. Google is reportedly working on a solution.
In fact, a leaked image by 9to5Google showing the Pixel 4 Face Unlock settings screen showed an option to require eyes to be open.
Tech Guide can confirm, after conducting our own tests, that the Pixel 4 can be accessed using face unlock when your eyes are closed.
For the first time, Google is using Face Unlock in place of its usual fingerprint reader as its primary security feature.
This alarming privacy flaw means the Google Pixel 4 can be unlocked by someone else if it is held up to your face while you’re asleep.
Face Unlock on the Pixel 4 can be used to not only unlock the phone but also to authorise app downloads and to make payments.
Apple’s Face ID – introduced two years ago with the iPhone X – has proven to be the industry’s best with face mapping so sophisticated that it couldn’t even be fooled with 3D mask.
And, unlike the Pixel 4, it won’t work when your eyes are closed like when you’re asleep – or dead.
This is an additional setting by Apple for its Face ID called “Require Attention” which will only work when you are looking at the iPhone.
Apple admits here that some sunglasses may block attention detection, which means users have to remove their sunglasses before unlocking their iPhone with Face ID.
Apple had its own share of Face ID controversy when videos emerged of siblings being able to unlock each other’s iPhones.
There is one way to disable Face Unlock and secure the Pixel 4 with Lockdown which will only unlock the device after the passcode is entered correctly.
To set this up go to Settings > Display > Advanced > Lock Screen Display and unable “show lockdown option”.
Now when a user presses and holds the power button, the lockdown feature will now be an option.