These smartphones failed a simple facial recognition security test



Can your smartphone be unlocked with a simple photograph? Check the list!

The Dutch Consumers Association has just published the results of its study which concerned 110 models of smartphones. The test protocol was relatively simple to set up, it was to try to fool the facial recognition used to unlock a smartphone. How? Simply by printing a high resolution photograph of the owner of the camera and presenting this photograph to the tested smartphone.
Many smartphones failed this test, including those here:

    
                
            
    
        
            
                
                    Asus
                    ZenFone 5 (2018)
                
            
                    
        
            
                Product sheet
            
                                Forum
                    
        
                            
                     Available on Amazon for € 499
                            
                    
                    
                       See the test
                    
                                                7/10
                                    
                    
    

    
                
            
    
        
            
                
                    Asus
                    ZenFone 5 Lite
                
            
                    
        
            
                Product sheet
            
                                Forum
                    
        
                            
                     Available on Amazon at 319 €
                            
                    
                    
                       See the test
                    
                                                7/10
                                    
                    
    

    
                
            
    
        
            
                
                    BlackBerry
                    key2
                
            
                    
        
            
                Product sheet
            
                                Forum
                    
        
                            
                     Available on Amazon for 399 €
                            
                    
                    
                       See the test
                    
                                                7/10
                                    
                    
    

    
                
            
    
        
            
                
                    HTC
                    U11 More
                
            
                    
        
            
                Product sheet
            
                                Forum
                    
        
                            
                     Available on EGlobal Central France at 432 €
                            
                    
                    
                       See the test
                    
                                                8/10
                                    
                    
    

    
                
            
    
        
            
                
                    Huawei
                    P20 Lite
                
            
                    
        
            
                Product sheet
            
                                Forum
                    
        
                            
                     Available on Amazon for € 226
                            
                    
                    
                       See the test
                    
                                                6/10
                                    
                    
    

    
                
            
    
        
            
                
                    Huawei
                    P20 Pro
                
            
                    
        
            
                Product sheet
            
                                Forum
                    
        
                            
                     Available on Amazon for 603 €
                            
                    
                    
                       See the test
                    
                                                9/10
                                    
                    
    

    
                
            
    
        
            
                
                    Huawei
                    P20
                
            
                    
        
            
                Product sheet
            
                                Forum
                    
        
                            
                     Available on Amazon at 480 €
                            
                    
                    
                       See the test
                    
                                                8/10
                                    
                    
    

    
                
            
    
        
            
                
                    Motorola
                    Moto e5
                
            
                    
        
            
                Product sheet
            
                    
        
                            
                     Available on Amazon at 99 €
                    
    

    
                
            
    
        
            
                
                    Motorola
                    One
                
            
                    
        
            
                Product sheet
            
                                Forum
                    
        
                            
                     Available on Amazon for € 237
                            
                    
                    
                       See the test
                    
                                                7/10
                                    
                    
    

    
                
            
    
        
            
                
                    Nokia
                    3.1
                
            
                    
        
            
                Product sheet
            
                    
        
                            
                     Available on Amazon for 133 €
                    
    

    
                
            
    
        
            
                
                    Nokia
                    7.1
                
            
                    
        
            
                Product sheet
            
                    
        
                            
                     Available on Amazon for € 309
                            
                    
                    
                       See the test
                    
                                                7/10
                                    
                    
    

    
                
            
    
        
            
                
                    Samsung
                    Galaxy A8 (2018)
                
            
                    
        
            
                Product sheet
            
                                Forum
                    
        
                            
                     Available on Amazon for € 258
                            
                    
                    
                       See the test
                    
                                                8/10
                                    
                    
    

    
                
            
    
        
            
                
                    Samsung
                    Galaxy A8 Plus (2018)
                
            
                    
        
            
                Product sheet
            
                                Forum
                    
        
                            
                     Available on Amazon at 650 €
                    
    

    
                
            
    
        
            
                
                    Sony
                    Xperia XZ2
                
            
                    
        
            
                Product sheet
            
                                Forum
                    
        
                            
                     Available on Amazon for € 424
                            
                    
                    
                       See the test
                    
                                                7/10
                                    
                    
    

    
                
            
    
        
            
                
                    Sony
                    Xperia XZ3
                
            
                    
        
            
                Product sheet
            
                                Forum
                    
        
                            
                     Available on Amazon for € 680
                            
                    
                    
                       See the test
                    
                                                8/10
                                    
                    
    

    
                
            
    
        
            
                
                    Xiaomi
                    Mi A2
                
            
                    
        
            
                Product sheet
            
                                Forum
                    
        
                            
                     Available on Amazon at 192 €
                            
                    
                    
                       See the test
                    
                                                8/10
                                    
                    
    

Other smartphones have passed the test, they have not been fooled by this simple printed photograph. Among these, we find the iPhone but also recent models of Huawei, Samsung, Honor and OnePlus: the iPhone XR, the iPhone XS (Max) but also the latest Honor including the 10 and 8X, the Mate 20 series , the OnePlus 5T, 6 and 6T but also the high-end Samsung including Note 9 and Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus. By the way, the Wiko View 2 has also passed the test.
We explained why facial unlocking is far from the most secure technology in this article. Moreover, another test with a face printed this time in 3D had also failed many smartphones, including the latest OnePlus for example.
As a reminder, on Android, there are many technologies of facial unlocking. The vast majority of the time, it's a 2D unlock that uses the front camera. Some recent models like Huawei Mate 20 Pro, Oppo Find X or Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro use a 3D face recognition system.
On the Phone X, there is a system called Face ID that uses the camera True Depth. It is a much more accurate system which therefore has a lower probability of being fooled by trickery like a face printed in 3D. To deepen the subject, we recommend this reading on a folder "Face ID, fingerprint reader, iris scanner: how your smartphone protects … and protects you".
Read on FrAndroid: Unlocking facial: Android smartphones fooled but the comparison with the iPhone X is technologically absurd

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