Google Pixel 4 to Get a Fix for Face Unlock Flaw 'In the Coming Months'

Google has in the meantime advised Pixel 4 users to use the lockdown feature.

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Google Pixel 4 to Get a Fix for Face Unlock Flaw 'In the Coming Months'

Google Pixel 4 can be unlocked even when users aren't actively looking at it or have their eyes closed

Highlights
  • Google has released a statement pertaining the eye detection flaw
  • It confirms the software update for the Pixel 4
  • Google claims the face unlock feature "meets security requirements"

Google Pixel 4, the new flagship by the search giant, is set to receive a software update that will fix the eye detection flaw on its face unlock feature. Similar to the latest iPhone models, the Pixel 4 carries a series of sensors to enable face unlocking in place a traditional fingerprint support. The feature, however, was recently spotted having a flaw that allow a person to unlock the phone even when they aren't actively looking at the phone or have their eyes closed.

Google has confirmed that the Pixel 4 would receive a software update "in the coming months" that will fix the face unlock flaw that was reported last week.

"We've been working on an option for users to require their eyes to be open to unlock the phone, which will be delivered in a software update in the coming months," a Google spokesperson told to Gadgets 360.

Unlike many Android smartphones that offer face unlock using the selfie camera, the Pixel 4 uses sensors including an infrared (IR) sensor and a Dot projector to enable face unlocking -- just like the latest iPhone system. Google has claimed that the hardware "meets the security requirements as a strong biometric, and can be used for payments and app authentication, including banking apps."

Having said that, the eye detection flaw does affect the security of the Pixel 4 as it lets the face unlock feature work without identifying users' eyes. Some users reported that there is a 'Require eyes to be open' toggle within the face unlock settings. However, the toggle isn't yet available on the Google phone.

There is, instead, a 'Screen attention' feature on the Pixel 4 that Google could use for enhancing the face unlock feature. The Screen attention feature is currently used to keep the screen on as long as you actively look at it.

Google in its statement has underlined that users who are concerned about the eye detection flaw can activate the security feature that requires a pin, pattern, or password for the next unlock. The feature, called lockdown, comes into action once you long-press the power button.

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Jagmeet Singh Jagmeet Singh writes about consumer technology for Gadgets 360, out of New Delhi. Jagmeet is a senior reporter for Gadgets 360, and has frequently written about apps, computer security, Internet services, and telecom developments. Jagmeet is available on Twitter at @JagmeetS13 or Email at jagmeets@ndtv.com. Please send in your leads and tips. More
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