Face recognition is easy to circumvent on many popular smartphones, according to research by the Consumers’ Association. Many devices can already be unlocked with a photo.
Face detection smartphones insecure
On the Huawei P20 Pro Samsung Galaxy A8 and Sony Xperia XZ3 facial recognition can be bypassed with a photo, claims the Consumentenbond . The organization looked at more than a hundred different Android smartphones, of which slightly less than half were easily circumvented.
The list includes especially cheaper smartphones like the Huawei P20 Lite Xiaomi Mi A2 and Nokia 3.1 . These devices often only use the selfie camera to compare a flat scan of your face with the live image. Yet more expensive smartphones – such as the P20 Pro and Sony’s top devices – also prove to offer inadequate protection.
On many other recent top devices, the security is also in order. For example, the face recognition of, among others, the Samsung Galaxy S9 Note 9 Huawei Mate 20 Pro and iPhone XS can not be circumvented with a photo.
The Consumentenbond says a total of 110 different smartphones tested. However, there are some notable smartphones in the full list. For example, nine versions of the Galaxy S9 have been tested, including a Brazilian model and variants with more storage spaces. The versions with 64, 128 and 256 GB are also tested separately from the OnePlus 6. That while the hardware and software used for face recognition should be identical on all models.
Manufacturers improve facial recognition
Many of the Android smartphones with poor security seem to use the built-in facial recognition of Android. It is known that it is relatively easy to circumvent. When activating this ‘Face Unlock’ option, the smartphone also warns that it is not the safest option.
However, many users still opt for facial recognition, partly because of its convenience. That is why manufacturers are taking more and more steps to improve the security method. For example, Apple introduced Face ID, a set of cameras and sensors that, among other things, make a 3D scan of your face using infrared. Huawei and OnePlus are now also using slightly better facial recognition.