OnePlus introduced the Face Unlock feature on OnePlus 5T last year. But the phone missed out on depth sensing and 3D face mapping. So, the company used a custom solution developed by SenseTime, a Chinese security company, which has lineage in facial recognition. The Face Unlock feature on the OnePlus 5T was discovered to be insecure as it was found to be incapable of differentiating between a real face and a printed photo.
OnePlus implemented the Face Unlock feature on its latest flagship device too. But it looks like the flaw lingers this time as well. A Twitter user @rikvduijn posted a video showing the OnePlus 6 being unlocked with a printout of his face. It is reported that this method works well with a black and white photo too.
He had embedded a video along with the tweet showing one of his friends holding a paper cutout of his face and unlocking the device with it. It is seen that the device got instantly unlocked. This clearly shows that the Face Unlock feature can be tricked. The reason for this is that the selfie camera on the smartphone cannot distinguish between a flat surface and an actual face.
In response to this issue, OnePlus has stated that it is investigating the issue and would need some time to come up with a final resolution. The company is asking users to use the PIN, password or fingerprint sensor for security purposes.
The official statement released by the company reads, "We designed Face Unlock around convenience, and while we took corresponding measures to optimise its security we always recommended you use a password/PIN/fingerprint for security. For this reason, Face Unlock is not enabled for any secure apps such as banking or payments. We're constantly working to improve all of our technology, including Face Unlock."
Initially, Apple implemented the facial recognition feature with the iPhone X. Though there is a slew of Android phones with such a feature, Face ID by Apple is said to be the most secure one as the company uses an IR dot projector for the 3D mapping of faces. Despite this, we have come across several reports that questioning the reliability of the iPhone X Face ID feature.