Google has confirmed the Pixel four smartphone’s Face Unlock system can enable entry to an individual’s system even when they’ve their eyes closed.
One safety knowledgeable mentioned it was a major downside that might enable unauthorised entry to the system.
By comparability, Apple’s Face ID system checks the consumer is “alert” and looking out on the cellphone earlier than unlocking.
Google mentioned in a press release: “Pixel four Face Unlock meets the safety necessities as a powerful biometric.”
Talking earlier than the launch, Pixel product supervisor Sherry Lin mentioned: “They’re truly solely two face [authorisation] options that meet the bar for being super-secure. So, you understand, for funds, that stage – it is ours and Apple’s.”
On Tuesday, BBC Information examined the Face Unlock characteristic on the brand new Pixel four.
Utilizing the default settings, the cellphone nonetheless unlocked if the consumer pretended to be asleep.
The take a look at was repeated on a number of individuals, with the identical end result.
Photos of the Pixel four leaked earlier than launch confirmed a setting labelled: “Require eyes to be open,” within the facial-recognition menu.
Nevertheless, this setting was not current on the units loaned to BBC Information.
And Google advised BBC Information it will not characteristic on the Pixel four when it went on sale, on 24 October.
“If somebody can unlock your cellphone when you’re asleep, it is a massive safety downside,” mentioned cyber-security knowledgeable Graham Cluley.
“Somebody unauthorised – a toddler or companion? – may unlock the cellphone with out your permission by placing it in entrance of your face when you’re asleep,” he advised BBC Information.
“I would not belief it to safe the personal conversations and information on my cellphone.”
Google’s Pixel four assist web site tells clients: “Your cellphone can be unlocked by another person if it is held as much as your face, even when your eyes are closed.”
It says involved clients can change on “lockdown” mode – which deactivates facial recognition – when they need enhanced safety.
Google advised BBC Information Face Unlock couldn’t be fooled by photographs or masks, nevertheless.
“We are going to proceed to enhance Face Unlock over time,” it mentioned in a press release.