Biometrics

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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iCloud on the Web will soon allow Face ID and Touch ID sign-ins

iCloud on the Web will soon allow Face ID and Touch ID sign-ins

The death of passwords is at hand, or at least that's what proponents of biometrics security would like to say. It might be a while before it becomes as commonplace as the password field but every small step takes us closer. The next small step will seemingly come from Apple who is now testing ways to more securely and more conveniently log into iCloud.com using not strong passwords but stronger fingers and faces instead.

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US Special Forces laser can ID your heartbeat from over 600 feet away

US Special Forces laser can ID your heartbeat from over 600 feet away

In the mobile world, there are arguments over the accuracy and security of biometrics such as fingerprints, irises, and faces. In the security and military sectors, however, people are turning to heartbeats. Just like fingerprints, the cardiac signature of a person is believed to be unique and infallible. But unlike fingerprints, heartbeats can be measured secretly from a distance with a laser. And wouldn’t you know it, the US military has one exactly like that.

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macOS 10.15 will let Apple Watch do more than just unlock Macs

macOS 10.15 will let Apple Watch do more than just unlock Macs

Biometrics-based security systems, be it fingerprints or faces, is the trend in computing these days but not all devices are equipped with such sensors. That's especially true for desktop and even for the majority of laptops in the market. Apple has equipped some of its MacBooks with Touch IDs but that still leaves out most of the computers that it offers. Come macOS 10.15, however, that might not be an urgent need, that is if you have an Apple Watch on your wrist.

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Galaxy S10 updates makes ultrasonic fingerprint faster

Galaxy S10 updates makes ultrasonic fingerprint faster

Any new technology naturally goes through growing pains. Sometimes, those pains happen behind closed doors. Other times, it is the users that have to grit their teeth in frustration. Qualcomm's ultrasonic fingerprint sensors in the Galaxy S10 is definitely at the cutting edge but, compared to existing fingerprint sensors, it left users waiting a bit too long. Now an update addresses that pain point while Samsung remains quiet on another perhaps more critical question.

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Galaxy S10 ultrasonic fingerprint scanner fooled by 3D printed mark

Galaxy S10 ultrasonic fingerprint scanner fooled by 3D printed mark

After years of delays, Samsung finally jumped aboard the fingerprint-on-display (FoD) train but it may be costing users more than they're willing to pay. Thanks to its new "Infinity-O" punch hole display, it has made face recognition practically useless as a security feature. Now there is at least one experiment that tries to prove how its ultrasonic fingerprint sensor is actually less secure than regular optical ones.

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WhatsApp now offers Face ID and Touch ID security: What you should know

WhatsApp now offers Face ID and Touch ID security: What you should know

WhatsApp can now be locked down with Face ID on Apple's newest iPhones, allowing users of the instant messaging service to secure their chats from prying eyes. The update, released to the App Store this week, also includes support for Touch ID security on versions of the iPhone that have the fingerprint sensor.

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Xiaomi teases more accurate, bigger fingerprint on display

Xiaomi teases more accurate, bigger fingerprint on display

In-screen fingerprint scanners or fingerprint-on-display (FoD) sensors might be the future for many Android phones but their accuracy and speed compared to traditional optical sensors still leave some things to be desired. That said, we’re just at the start of innovation in this area and we might see more in the months ahead. And kicking off that next generation of FoDs is none other than Xiaomi whose upcoming phones might be equipped with this state of the art in-screen sensor.

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The Face ID and fingerprint privacy law just got settled

The Face ID and fingerprint privacy law just got settled

A magistrate judge in California has ruled that police can't compel people to unlock their phones with biometric methods like fingerprints and facial recognition. Before this ruling, biometrics weren't protected in the same way that alphanumeric passcodes are - while police can't force a suspect to give up a passcode, those rules didn't apply to biometric unlocking methods. Now, it seems, the two methods of locking and unlocking mobile devices are seen as equal in the eyes of the law (at least for the time being).

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