Google recently released its new handset that is Google Pixel 4 and 4 XL. The new feature added to it is the face unlock system, and Google itself developed it. As per the news, this face unlock system uses advanced sensors in the phones top bezel for fast authentication. Also, Pixel 4 includes gesture controls and biometric authentication that was bought with the help of project soli technology. But the face unlock system is not as secure as it sounds.
Google believes that face unlock is secure and fast than the fingerprint sensor in Android gadgets. And thus it has not included it in the Pixel 4. But, Chris Fox, a BBC news reporter, says that the major loophole in Google’s Pixel 4 security system is that, it easily allows users even with the eyes closed.
Also, among the leaked photos of Pixel, you might have noticed option stating “require eyes to be open” for face unlock system to allow access. But Google said that this feature is sure not available. Google says that you will have to keep your phone in a safe place like your front pocket or handbag. Maybe this should be followed even at night since your phone might be unlocked by someone when you’re asleep too.
Moreover, Google itself admits its security loophole. Google Pixel 4 fans are waiting for it mainly for their new face unlock system, so this definitely a shock for those. Google has published some cautions about its face unlock system in Google’s help centre. Firstly, it says “Looking at your phone can unlock it even when you don’t intend to”.
About this one, it is definitely a major loophole; this will, of course, make the users uncomfortable. Secondly, Google says “Your phone can be unlocked by someone who looks a lot like you, like an identical sibling”. This one is a bit worrisome as most lock the phone for privacy and importantly, out of reach from your siblings.
Lastly, Google says “Your phone can also be unlocked by someone else if it’s held up to your face, even if your eyes are closed. Keep your phone in a safe place, like your front pocket or handbag”.
It is really a concerning one because anyone can access our phone by showing on to our face when we are sleeping or unconscious. Actually, the face unlock system of Pixel 4 is similar to Apple’s Face ID, except that Apple’s Face ID works only if your eyes are opened. Apple says it is for security purpose, and it can be turned off in your settings.
But Google recommends users to use the Android’s lockdown function, through which you can disable Biometric authentication, and you can unlock the phone only after entering the required PIN and then unlock the biometric to access the phone. This feature might sound familiar to you as all iOS devices ships with this system in which the user can disable the Face ID temporarily by pressing the power button and volume button. A small vibration will let you know that the Face ID is disabled.
To avail this option in Google’s Pixel 4, which uses Android 10, follow the below steps:
- Open settings in your Google Pixel 4
- Choose the Display option
- Expand the “Advanced” section at the bottom
- Tap on the “Lock screen display” option
- Enable “Show lockdown option”.
These steps will disable face unlock and also turn off the smart lock system. As fingerprint sensor not included in Pixel 4, we should either use Face ID or password. So these complications in Google’s Pixel 4 really concerns people.
Google spokesman says, “We don’t have anything specific to announce regarding future features or timing, but like most of our products, this feature is designed to get better over time with future software updates”.