Tuesday, 19 November, 2019

Google Pixel 4 face unlock works even if your eyes are closed

Pre-order the Pixel 4 and get a $100 Amazon gift card or a free Chromebook Google Pixel 4 boasts of more powerful camera, motion sensor, new apps
Emmett Howard | 18 October, 2019, 19:43

The Pixel 4 is still something to care about too, mostly now because we can finally test each new feature rather than watch someone across the globe gloss over it in a leaked video. We're talking about Face Unlock. Since its conception in 2017, facial recognition technology has brought up controversies regarding authorities' rights to unlock seized devices by merely pointing it at the owner's face without their admission. The so-called Motion Sense is a new major feature of the Pixel 4 phones.

The phone technically isn't on sale yet, these flaws were discovered on review units - Google has gone on to say that the issue will not be present when the retail units are available.

"They are actually only two face [authorization] solutions that meet the bar for being super-secure", said Pixel product manager Sherry Lin before the product launch.

Google announced on Tuesday that its new models- the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL will not be available in India. Google has confirmed that its face detection tech will unlock the device for people even when their eyes are closed. That's different from Apple Inc.'s "Face ID" system, which does require one's eyes to be open. Radar sensors respond to movement toward the phone and start the process so that it is ready to go as soon as you pick it up.

While Apple's Face ID requires the user's "attention", it can be disabled in settings. Without that, iOS will remain secured, and can even mask the content of notifications shown on the lock screen.

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Google is the second major phone vendor in the past week that has had problems with its biometrics authentication systems.

The first one is Face Unlock.

That's yet to be tested in higher courts, mind, and the general advice is that, for those who are particularly concerned about others accessing their smartphones and other devices, a strong PIN or passcode should still be used instead.

Google's official fix is to enable "lockdown" if you are expecting to be in "unsafe" situations.

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