Research finds flaws in facial recognition of 42 smartphone models

A study conducted by the Dutch Consumers’ Association found serious flaws in the face recognition systems of 42 smartphones currently available in the market. The tests used photos of the original owners of the handsets, printed in high quality, with devices from brands such as Lenovo, Huawei, Asus, Nokia, Sony and Samsung being disapproved.

110 devices were tested in total with the institution, which protects the rights of consumers in the European country, experimenting with color photos and also in black and white. One of the strangest conclusions is that regional variants or versions with differences in specifications, for example, may present security problems or not within the same appliance model.

This is the case, for example, of the Moto G6 Play, which was disapproved in the tests, while the conventional editions of the device and also the Plus version were approved. In theory, they all use the same biometric technology and this should not happen. Another finding is that, in most cases, newer models did better than the old ones, with the Galaxy A7 and A8, for example, being disapproved, while the A9 was not fooled by the printed photos.

National version devices also appear in both lists. The case quoted as the Moto G6 Play in relation to its bigger brothers, for example, happened with the Brazilian editions of the devices, while the Galaxy J8 smartphones, of Samsung, and Moto E5, are among the reproved in the tests;

Overall, however, Apple was the only company to be approved on all devices tested, with the iPhone XR, XS and XS Max preventing unlocking through the images. Likewise, three brands have been disapproved in their entirety of tests, with Nokia 3.1 , Xiaomi Mi A2 and variants, as well as the BlackBerry Key2 proving unsafe.

In some cases, the consumer association found additional security settings that intensified verification and freed six smartphones (Honor 7th models and all versions of LG’s G7, V35 and V40) from the disapproved list. In other cases, bugs could also happen, as in the case of OnePlus 6, which proved easier to unlock by the image soon following a successful verification by the user himself.

On the other hand, the research ponders that most manufacturers tell customers that facial recognition is not the safest alternative, with sensitive data having to be protected in another way. Still, the picture is positive, despite the presence of devices of great popularity in the list, because newer versions have proven better, which shows that the technology is evolving.

Check the complete list released by the agency:

Approved

  • Alcatel 3V (5099D)
  • Alcatel 5
  • Apple iPhone XR (128 GB)
  • Apple iPhone XR (256 GB)
  • Apple iPhone XR (64 GB)
  • Apple iPhone XS (256GB)
  • Apple iPhone XS (512GB)
  • Apple iPhone XS (64GB)
  • Apple iPhone XS Max (256GB)
  • Apple iPhone XS Max (512GB)
  • Apple iPhone XS Max (64GB)
  • Asus Zenfone Max Plus (ZB570TL)
  • Honor 10
  • Honor 7C
  • Honor 8X
  • Honor View 10
  • HTC U12 + (European version)
  • HTC U12 + (American version)
  • Huawei P smart +
  • Huawei Y6 (2018) (ATU-L21)
  • Huawei Y7 (2018)
  • Huawei Mate 20
  • Huawei Mate 20 Lite
  • Huawei Kill 20 Pro
  • Lenovo Motorola Moto G6 (32GB)
  • Lenovo Motorola Moto G6 (64GB)
  • Lenovo Motorola Moto G6 (American version)
  • Lenovo Motorola Moto G6 Plus
  • Lenovo Motorola Moto Z3 (American version)
  • Lenovo Motorola Moto Z3 Play
  • Lenovo Motorola Moto Z3 Play (American version)
  • Motorola Moto G6 (Brazilian version)
  • Motorola Moto G6 Plus (Brazilian version)
  • One Plus 5T
  • OnePlus 6 (128GB)
  • OnePlus 6 (256GB)
  • OnePlus 6 (64GB)
  • OnePlus 6 (American version) (64 GB)
  • OPPO Find X
  • Samsung Galaxy A6 (32GB)
  • Samsung Galaxy A6 + (32GB)
  • Samsung Galaxy A6 + (64 GB)
  • Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018)
  • Samsung Galaxy J6 (2018)
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 9 (128 GB) (European version)
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 9 (128 GB) Dual SIM (Brazilian version)
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 9 (128 GB) Single SIM (European version)
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 9 SM-N960U1 (American version)
  • Samsung Galaxy S9 (SM-G960F / DS)
  • Samsung Galaxy S9 SM-G960U1 (American version)
  • Samsung Galaxy S9 256GB
  • Samsung Galaxy S9 Dual (128GB)
  • Samsung Galaxy S9 + (SM-G965F / DS)
  • Samsung Galaxy S9 + 256GB
  • Samsung Galaxy S9 + Dual (128GB)
  • Samsung Galaxy S9 + Single SIM
  • Samsung Galaxy S9 + SM-G965U1 (American version)
  • WIKO View 2

Disapproved

  • Alcatel 1x
  • Asus Zenfone 5 Lite 64 GB
  • Asus Zenfone 5, ZE620KL (64 GB)
  • BlackBerry KEY2
  • BlackBerry Key2 (American version)
  • BQ Aquaris X2
  • BQ Aquaris X2 Pro
  • General Mobile GM8
  • HTC U11 +
  • Huawei P20 (EML-L29)
  • Huawei P20 Lite
  • Huawei P20 Pro (CLT-L29)
  • Lenovo Motorola Moto E5
  • Lenovo Motorola Moto E5 (Brazilian version)
  • Lenovo Motorola Moto E5 Plus (Brazilian version)
  • Lenovo Motorola Moto G6 Play
  • LG K9 (LM-X210EMW)
  • LG Q6 Alpha (LG-M700n)
  • Motorola Moto G6 Play (Brazilian version)
  • Motorola One
  • Nokia 3.1
  • Nokia 3.1 (US version)
  • Nokia 7.1
  • Oukitel VU
  • Samsung Galaxy A7 (2018)
  • Samsung Galaxy A8 (32GB) (SM-A530F / DS
  • Samsung Galaxy A8 (64 GB)
  • Samsung Galaxy A8 + (SM-A730F)
  • Samsung Galaxy J8 (Brazilian version)
  • Sony Xperia L2 (H3311)
  • Sony Xperia L2 (H3321)
  • Sony Xperia XZ2 (H8216)
  • Sony Xperia XZ2 (US version)
  • Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact (H8314)
  • Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact (American version)
  • Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact Dual SIM (H8324)
  • Sony Xperia XZ2 Dual SIM (H8266)
  • Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium (American version)
  • Sony Xperia XZ3
  • Vodafone Smart N9
  • Xiaomi Mi A2
  • Xiaomi Mi A2 (32GB)
[Total: 2    Average: 5/5]

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