There’s a worrying issue with the Samsung Galaxy S8’s facial recognition software

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Samsung’s Galaxy S8 launched with the kind of spectacle usually reserved for Hollywood blockbusters.

And, during the keynote, the South Korean company made a big deal about how remembering patterns, passwords and PIN codes was a pain in the neck. Wouldn’t it be much easier to just let the phone scan your face and unlock from there?

Unfortunately, it looks like the advanced facial recognition technology inside the S8 and S8 Plus is almost too good. A video posted on YouTube shows one user unlocking the £689 gadget with just a picture.

Samsung Galaxy S8 steals a march on Apple’s iPhone 8 with all-glass design, curved screen and no Home button

(Photo: Samsung Mobile)

The video was recorded at the phone’s launch event after the user set up a demo phone with his own face. He then took a picture of his mug and flashed it in front of the phone – after a couple of attempts, it unlocked.

This could be because Samsung’s facial recognition technology simply identifies the 2D image of the face as the key – enabling it to be tricked by a picture.

Mirror Tech contacted the company about the video and received the following statement from a Samsung spokesperson:

“The Galaxy S8 provides various levels of biometric authentication, with the highest level of authentication from the iris scanner and fingerprint reader.

“In addition, the Galaxy S8 provides users with multiple options to unlock their phones through both biometric security options, and convenient options such as swipe and facial recognition.

“It is important to reiterate that facial recognition, while convenient, can only be used for opening your Galaxy S8 and currently cannot be used to authenticate access to Samsung Pay or Secure Folder.”

It’s important to point out that the facial recognition feature is by no means mandatory. Users can use the fingerprint scanner, moved to the rear of the phone, to unlock their device instead.

Tech companies are increasingly looking at biometrics as means of securing devices that we are storing more and more personal information on.

Apple is rumoured to be including both iris scanning and facial recognition in its upcoming iPhone 8 .

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