Biometrics

Qualcomm’s big new fingerprint sensor is a huge improvement: Hands-on

Qualcomm’s big new fingerprint sensor is a huge improvement: Hands-on

As anybody who has tried an in-display fingerprint sensor will have discovered, not all biometrics are created equal, and Qualcomm is hoping its new 3D Sonic Max system edges ahead of the pack. Set to debut on smartphones in 2020, the latest generation of the ultrasonic fingerprint biometrics aims to re-right the ship after frustrations around Samsung's Galaxy Note 10 and Galaxy S10 security.

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Qualcomm’s new in-display biometrics can scan two fingerprints at once

Qualcomm’s new in-display biometrics can scan two fingerprints at once

Qualcomm has revealed its newest security system, with 3D Sonic Max promising faster, easier, and more secure in-display fingerprint recognition. The new technology is the latest iteration of Qualcomm's ultrasonic biometrics, dramatically increasing the space that your fingertip will be recognized on a device.

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Airport facial scans to include US citizens in proposed DHS rules

Airport facial scans to include US citizens in proposed DHS rules

Facial recognition is slowly but surely becoming the focal point of the next tug-of-war on privacy as more and more companies and governments are embracing the technology for their own needs. While an effective tool in safeguarding phones and computers, it is also feared to be a more subtle but more intrusive way to monitor people without their knowledge. It is against that backdrop of uncertainty that the US Homeland Security is proposing that face recognition checks in all US airports be done on all travelers, including the country's own citizens.

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Samsung could drop problematic Qualcomm ultrasonic fingerprint tech

Samsung could drop problematic Qualcomm ultrasonic fingerprint tech

Although rumored and expected to be one of the first, Samsung came terribly late to the in-display fingerprint scanner party. Perhaps in an attempt to make the delay worthwhile, Samsung also opted to adopt a kind of biometric technology that none of its rivals had: Qualcomm's in-screen ultrasonic fingerprint sensor. While presented as a feature bullet point, that has become a security liability for this year's Samsung flagships and it may force the world's largest smartphone maker to abandon ship quickly.

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Galaxy S10 and Galaxy Note 10 fingerprint scanner fix is rolling out

Galaxy S10 and Galaxy Note 10 fingerprint scanner fix is rolling out

Although not as damning as the fate that awaits Huawei, Samsung is facing its own ordeal that could damage its reputation in the financial and security industries. Its ultrasonic in-screen fingerprint was already long overdue but is now proving to be less secure and accurate as it was promised to be. Samsung has already begun rolling out an update that addresses the latest complaint but, while swift, might be a bit too late to assure some banks for a while.

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“Months” isn’t good enough for a Pixel 4 face unlock fix

“Months” isn’t good enough for a Pixel 4 face unlock fix

Google will update its face unlock system so that the Pixel 4's security can't be bypassed even when owners are asleep, but don't expect that to happen any time soon. The new Android smartphone does away with the fingerprint sensor of its predecessors in favor of a new, ultra-fast face unlock, but the security tech hasn't quite lived up to expectations.

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Pixel 4 face recognition will eventually include eye detection

Pixel 4 face recognition will eventually include eye detection

Google went all out with face recognition on the Pixel 4, removing the fingerprint sensor altogether. Google strongly believes in the speed and accuracy of its technology and, for the most part, that seems to be the case based on initial hands-on of the phones. Unfortunately, Google may have overlooked or at least neglected to consider the importance of actually paying attention to the screen when it's being unlocked, something it has gotten a lot of criticism for. That eye detection is now promised to come in the future but it might take months before it rolls out to the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL.

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Samsung gives Note 10 and S10 security advice as it preps fingerprint fix

Samsung gives Note 10 and S10 security advice as it preps fingerprint fix

By now, you've probably heard of a worrying flaw with the ultrasonic fingerprint readers present in the Galaxy S10 and the Galaxy Note 10. When using some third-party screen protectors on either phone, the fingerprint reader can apparently grant access to fingerprints that weren't previously registered. Obviously, that entirely defeats the purpose of securing your phone with a fingerprint in the first place, so it goes without saying this is something that needs to be fixed.

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Pixel 4 Face Unlock doesn’t care if you’re sleeping

Pixel 4 Face Unlock doesn’t care if you’re sleeping

Google's Face Unlock on the new Pixel 4 may make accessing the new Android smartphone more straightforward, but it could also make it easier for others to unlock the device when you're sleeping. The latest in the Pixel series does away with the fingerprint sensor on the last-generation Pixel 3, instead recognizing faces for what Google has said will be faster and more secure.

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Apple Watch patents hint at the wearable’s future direction

Apple Watch patents hint at the wearable’s future direction

While the majority of patents never really get implemented into actual products or features, they can still be a useful indicator of a company's vision for the future. They can even hold clues to features that may someday actually make it into products, provided the technology or hardware already exists. That may be the case for three out of dozens of patents that Apple granted today which relate to the Apple Watch. Interesting on their own, the three also paint the picture of a future wearable that isn't only more secure but also more health-focused.

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Suprema Biostar 2 exposed millions of fingerprints, faces, and passwords

Suprema Biostar 2 exposed millions of fingerprints, faces, and passwords

Biometrics, usually fingerprints or faces, are often touted as more secure forms of authentication or at least second-factor authentication. But what if those very same pieces of data have been compromised? And what if it happened through sheer negligence of the security company whose business is to help secure people around the world? That is the nightmarish reality of what befell customers of Suprema's web-based Biostar 2 biometrics lock platform and, by extension more than 1 million people across the globe.

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Google accounts now accept fingerprint authentication on Android

Google accounts now accept fingerprint authentication on Android

Google is on a quest to kill the password and it's really no surprise. Given how many things are connected to Google accounts and services, it is in its best interest to make sure those accounts are always kept safe. Passwords have long been considered no longer sufficient for security and the tech industry has been heading towards biometrics. Towards that end, Google is now allowing Android devices to use fingerprints to sign into their Google accounts.

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