Samsung S8 smartphone's facial recognition tech throws up security concerns

Samsung S8 smartphone's facial recognition tech throws up security concerns

News / Samsung S8 smartphone’s facial recognition tech throws up security concerns

Samsung S8 smartphone’s facial recognition tech throws up security concerns

The Samsung S8 and S8+ smartphones just threw up some major security concerns to do with the facial recognition technology onboard.

Samsung's much feted smartphones, have just come a cropper in the security department for mistaking phone selfies for actual people.

The phones launched with several security options onboard including iris recognition, facial recognition, fingerprint and PIN pattern. However, a quick deep dive by some Youtubers showed that the facial recognition technology onboard may be very easy to fool. Users were able to unlock the Galaxy S8 using a photo on a smartphone they had taken earlier. Although it took a few extra seconds to unlock than staring at the phone, it has raised several key security concerns about the flagship devices. Samsung will be keen to avoid any bad press about their soon-to-launch smartphones following from the debacle of the Note 7 handset. The much-hyped handset was withdrawn after reports of it spontaneously bursting into flames, from across the world.

On their website, Samsung say: 'There's iris scanning for tight security, face recognition for unlocking your phone right away, and defence-grade security that stands guard around the clock.' But the ease with which it can be bypassed will make many of us uncomfortable to go with it as an option of securing our smartphones.

Samsung urge users to not use just facial recognition tech on its own but combine it with PIN and/or fingerprint. There may still be time to sort it out as the phone is currently on pre-order and launches in the UK on April 21.

In a note to Business Insider, Samsung said: "Facial recognition is a convenient action to open your phone – similar to the 'swipe to unlock' action. We offer the highest level of biometric authentication – fingerprint and iris – to lock your phone and authenticate access to Samsung Pay or Secure Folder."

This isn't the first phone with facial recognition technology either.  There have been a couple of handsets from the likes of ZTE that have pipped Samsung to the post. However, their buggy nature meant zero publicity for their apparent lack of security measures.

To make sure your phone is as secure as possible, it would make sense to use PIN, fingerprint and the 'Secure Folder' option Samsung have on their phones that is only visible when you unlock the phone with your PIN and fingerprint.

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Sunetra is a highly experienced technology journalist. Before joining TEISS.co.uk, she ran Mobile Choice magazine and MobileChoiceUK.com. She was also a judge on the BBC's Phone Shop Idol TV documentary series.

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