The much-trumpeted Face Unlock feature of Android Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) could be fooled by photos, rather stymieing its chances of replacing pin codes or fingerprint security measures. In the short term, at least.
Unveiled earlier this week, the attention-grabbing function, which employs phones cameras’ face detection tech, theoretically means only the owner of the handset can unlock their handset. Sticky fingered imps and unauthorised users need not apply, we were told.
Hmm. Not quite. According to SlashGear, the nascent technology isn’t as watertight as it might be and could potentially be tricked into allow access to the phone by anyone who has a photo of the owner.
Quizzed by the site, a Google spokesperson conceded that photo-based chicanery of this sort “might work”, but said that this was chiefly because Face Unlock is a relatively new technology and that we can expect it to improve soon.
News of potential problems with Face Unlock comes after Matias Duarte, head of user experience at Google, was forced to abandon a demonstration of Face Unlock at the official unveiling of ICS earlier this week when it failed to recognise him.