Google’s Pixel 4 ditches its Pixel Imprint for a newer, notionally more secure facial recognition sensor. Albeit there’s one flaw, the Pixel 4’s facial recognition misses the attention detection that’s present on competitors like the iPhone. We noted this earlier this week, and now Google confirmed the report with the BBC.
For the uninformed, attention detection is a feature that lets the FaceID only unlock upon intentional activation. This means the user would have to be looking at the camera and be awake/aware for the lock to release. Users who are asleep would ordinarily be protected by this, as would be those who are unconscious or dead.
Proof, for those asking #madebygoogle #pixel4 pic.twitter.com/mBDJphVpfB
— Chris Fox (@thisisFoxx) October 15, 2019
Google told the BBC that while the “Pixel 4 Face Unlock meets the security requirements as a strong biometric,” the attention requirement feature would not be shipping on the new device right out of the box. Google did not confirm whether it would be delivering it in an update (though I see no reason why it would not.)
Instead, users were advised to make use of lockdown mode, a feature on Android 9+ devices which disabled biometrics in lieu of regular authentication facilities like passwords and pins.
Source: BBC News