Late last week, we learned that the Pixel 4’s new face unlock method works even when a user’s eyes are closed. This can be seen as a privacy issue by many, and as it turns out, Google appears to share our concern. Over the weekend, the company has acknowledged the issue and says it will push out an update in the future to address it.
As for how soon Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL owners can expect the update, don’t go holding your breath. In a statement, Google says we’ll see it “in the coming months.”
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. In the meantime, if any Pixel 4 users are concerned that someone may take their phone and try to unlock it while their eyes are closed, they can activate a security feature that requires a pin, pattern or password for the next unlock. Pixel 4 face unlock meets the security requirements as a strong biometric, and can be used for payments and app authentication, including banking apps. It is resilient against invalid unlock attempts via other means, like with masks.
To learn that the face unlock feature works while eyes are closed, which means it’ll work just fine while you’re sleeping, is one of those major things that Google can’t seem to not have when they launch a new device. And because this phone doesn’t feature a fingerprint scanner, the shortcoming of face unlock becomes very apparent.
Is this a dealbreaker for any potential buyers?
// The Verge