Biometrics

OnePlus 6 Face Unlock fooled by photo, no surprise there

OnePlus 6 Face Unlock fooled by photo, no surprise there

Not all smartphone face unlock features are created equal. Android has long had such a basic feature and so did Windows 10. Apple's Face ID, however, introduced a new level of sophistication, not to mention marketing, that may have made consumers presume that every device advertising "face ID" features would offer the same security and accuracy. As the recent OnePlus 6 face unlock spoofing incident demonstrates, however, that's definitely not the case. And, to be fair, that was never the case for OnePlus in the first place.

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Chrome 67 prepares to kill passwords

Chrome 67 prepares to kill passwords

Once the only way to protect accounts, be they online or offline, passwords are now seen more as a liability than an ally. Everyone's out to kill it, from Apple to Microsoft to, now, Google. The rollout of the Chrome browser version 67 went almost under the radar. That, however, belies what's inside this feature packed release, which includes the beginning of the end for weak passwords using WebAuthn and something like a secure USB key or even your fingerprint.

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Vivo X20 Play UD in-display fingerprint scanner reliability tested

Vivo X20 Play UD in-display fingerprint scanner reliability tested

Despite year after year of delays, it seems that the in-display fingerprint scanner, alternatively called a fingerprint on display (FOD), is still a goal among smartphone makers. Some are just taking a different route. Vivo, for example, used Synaptics' optical fingerprint scanner on its X20 Play UD, the first commercial phone to sport that feature. But being under the phone's screen and, therefore, subject to the same wear and tear as the display might raise some doubts and concerns over its reliability. To answer those questions, YouTube Marques Brownlee, a.k.a. MKBHD, puts that FOD to the test.

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Police tried to unlock phone with dead man’s finger at funeral home

Police tried to unlock phone with dead man’s finger at  funeral home

How far will law enforcers go to unlock a smartphone? Given how critical these mobile devices have become these days, it seems they're willing to go through sometimes morbid lengths to access what could be, but not yet confirmed, evidence inside. And, yes, that includes trying to unlock phones using the deceased's own fingers. That is what two detectives in Largo, Florida attempted to do when the walked into a funeral home to unlock the phone that belonged to the deceased. But while the detectives didn't do anything illegal, they are being called out for being unethical or, at the very least, insensitive.

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Windows Hello wants to replace passwords with keys, fingerprints

Windows Hello wants to replace passwords with keys, fingerprints

Passwords have become practically useless, even dangerous, thanks to human frailty. That is why tech companies keep on trying to kill the password with two-factor authentication, fingerprints, faces, and even security keys. Working with the Fast Identity Online (FIDO) alliance, Microsoft is updating its Windows Hello security framework to work with the newly ratified FIDO2 security keys. This means that, in the future, Windows computers can be unlocked with a fingerprint tapped on a removable USB key.

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Samsung hit with patent lawsuit over Galaxy S biometrics tech

Samsung hit with patent lawsuit over Galaxy S biometrics tech

Encryption technology research firm PACid Technologies has filed a lawsuit against Samsung Electronics for allegedly infringing upon its biometric patents. The complaint was filed in the Texas Eastern District Court on April 6. In it, PACid claims Samsung has violated three of its patent, two of them filed in the United States and the third in South Korea. All three relate to data encryption.

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Websites could soon use your fingerprint to log in

Websites could soon use your fingerprint to log in

Biometrics are everywhere. Almost all smartphones these days, even mid-range ones, have fingerprint scanners. Laptops and convertible tablets are slowly getting there. And while Apple seems to be doing away with them, it is replacing fingerprints with faces, yet another biometric security factor. The only place where this secure authentication method isn’t available is where they matter the most: the Web. But if the World Wide Web Consortium, a.k.a. W3C, has its way, even websites like, well, Facebook will support password-less logins in the near future.

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Another step toward the perfect smartphone

Another step toward the perfect smartphone

When I say "the perfect smartphone" I of course mean the four-sided screen. That is the dream of the panel you hold in your hand without any sign of interruption - logos, buttons, or anything in-between. That dream is one step closer to reality now that phones are coming with a feature that's going live thanks to a group called Goodix.

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Note 9 in-display fingerprint decision is down to the wire

Note 9 in-display fingerprint decision is down to the wire

The will-they won't-they of the Galaxy Note 9's in-display fingerprint reader saga continues, with a new report claiming Samsung in fact does intend to bake biometrics into its new phablet's screen. The technology-du-jour has been a hotly discussed feature in smartphone circles for some time now, as phone-makers attempt to accommodate various sensors while also slimming down screen bezels.

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Windows 10 Pro palm vein recognition coming courtesy of Fujitsu

Windows 10 Pro palm vein recognition coming courtesy of Fujitsu

Move over 3D face recognition, Microsoft wants your palm instead. The biometric security industry has exploded thanks to the popularity of fingerprint scanners and the whole drama around face recognition on phones. Tech companies are now racing to find the next big thing, and the next body part, for securing devices and files. Microsoft, who already supports face and fingerprint recognition via Windows Hello, has teamed up with Fujitsu to integrate the latter’s PalmSecure technology into Windows 10 Pro.

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Galaxy S9 Intelligent Scan to combine face, iris recognition

Galaxy S9 Intelligent Scan to combine face, iris recognition

There is still an ongoing debate on what comes next after the traditional fingerprint scanner. Some would rather still have the same kind of biometric authentication, except under or even inside the glass. Apple prefers to have your face do the talking. Samsung, on the other hand, seems a bit still undecided. It has an iris scanner, sure, but one that isn't precise and secure enough. But it seems that the Korean OEM is playing with something it calls "Intelligent Scan" which uses both that iris scanner and face unlock features.

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Vivo’s in-display fingerprint scanning Android phone arrives (but you don’t want it)

Vivo’s in-display fingerprint scanning Android phone arrives (but you don’t want it)

The first smartphone with an in-display fingerprint sensor, the Vivo X20 Plus UD, has launched, but even if you could buy it you probably don't want it. The new smartphone - or, more accurately, its biometric system, which is branded Clear ID - made headlines at CES 2018 earlier this month, as the first production device to bake the fingerprint security into the touchscreen itself.

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