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Galaxy S10 face unlock tricked by a video of the phone’s owner

Published Mar 12th, 2019 4:35PM EDT
Galaxy S10 face unlock
Image: Zach Epstein, BGR

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There’s no universal consensus regarding which form of biometric security is best, but what’s clear overwhelmingly clear is that none are perfect. This was made apparent once again last week, as Lewis Hilsenteger (Unbox Therapy) demonstrated on his YouTube channel just how easy it is to deceive the face unlock feature of Samsung’s brand new Galaxy S10. Keep in mind, this is a $900 smartphone that launched just days ago.

If you were holding out hope that the facial recognition software would be more advanced or more secure on the new generation of Samsung phones, you’re going to be disappointed. All Hilsenteger had to do to unlock his Galaxy S10 was hold up a video of himself to the camera and wait a few seconds:

On one hand, this is incredibly concerning, because even if Samsung does offer a warning when setting up face unlock to ensure that users set their expectations accordingly, it’s still a method by which someone else easily could access your phone. On the other, this isn’t likely to make as many headlines or stay in the news nearly as long as it would have a couple of years ago, because many face recognition systems are deeply flawed.

Apple’s Face ID might be the most secure of the bunch, as it can’t be cracked this easily, but even it can be bypassed if you’re willing to take the necessary steps. At some point, face unlock might replace fingerprint scanning altogether, but it’s abundantly clear that the technology isn’t ready for prime time yet.

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.