Google’s Pixel 4 series was the last most-anticipated phone of the year, especially amongst the photographers. Though many are upset with Google opting for a telephoto lens instead of a wide-angle, its facial recognition is what people are talking about. It turns out that even though fast, the phone will unlock even if you are asleep or, dead!
BBC tech reporter Chris Fox tweeted a video of him imitating sleep in front of a locked Google Pixel 4 and then unlocking it with his eyes closed. This is clearly a security risk for anyone with a Pixel 4. Some argued that there is an option of ‘Open Eyes’ that will make it harder for people to unlock your phone your sleeping, Chris says that his phone doesn’t have this option.
— Chris Fox (@thisisFoxx) October 15, 2019
Chris then tweeted that Google reached out to him saying that at launch, the ‘Require eyes to be open’ won’t be available at launch. The search giant also said in its communication that it will continue improving the Face Unlock feature on Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL in the future.
Just following-up on this, Google has confirmed the "require eyes open" option will not be present on the phone at launch. The video shows how Face Unlock will work on the device they release. Google says: "We will continue to improve Face Unlock over time."
— Chris Fox (@thisisFoxx) October 17, 2019
Cyber-security expert Graham Cluley told BBC, “If someone can unlock your phone while you’re asleep, it’s a big security problem. Someone unauthorized — a child or partner? — could unlock the phone without your permission by putting it in front of your face while you’re asleep. I wouldn’t trust it to secure private conversations and data on my phone.”
To unlock the Pixel 4 with face unlock, the user must hold it up to their face while onboard cameras and sensors go to work scanning their mug for defining characteristics — the distance between your eyes, for example. Once the device is confident it’s you, it unlocks and allows you to access the operating system. Let’s hope that Google makes “the limited feature” available to everyone soon.