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Face unlock on the Google Pixel 4 has a serious flaw

The Google Pixel 4 was only recently launched, and most users haven’t even got their hands on a set—pre-orders only began on the 15th of October, after all. But a reporter from BBC has discovered that for all the new tech that’s touted by Google, there’s one major flaw when it comes to face unlock on the new Pixel.

The Pixel 4’s facial recognition works even if your eyes are closed, which is certainly a major privacy concern. Of course, Face ID on the iPhone only works if your eyes are open and if you’re looking directly at the phone—this is a setting that can be toggled on or off in settings.

What’s a little strange is that photos of the Google Pixel 4 leaked prior to its launch showed an option to “require eyes to be open” for face unlock to work. However, the BBC reports that this setting isn’t available for the sets that they have from Google.

As you may already know, the Google Pixel 4 will not come with a fingerprint scanner, with face unlock remaining as the sole biometric option to unlock your phone. Which makes the security of the Pixel’s face unlock option all the more crucial.

In any case, you can turn on the Android lockdown feature, which will disable biometric authentication and require a PIN to be entered. But we’re guessing that this could be rectified with OTA updates in the future, with Google telling The Verge:

“We don’t have anything specific to announce regarding future features or timing, but like most of our products, this feature is designed to get better over time with future software updates.”