My friend unlocked my phone

Last night, I showed my new one Google Pixel 6a smartphone for my friend Pavlo. The phone was locked when I gave it to him. Then, all of a sudden, he was staring at my home screen. He placed his finger on the part of the screen where the phone scanned the fingerprint and the phone unlocked.

I panted. My heart rate increased rapidly.

“Pavlo!” I said. “That’s not what was supposed to happen.” He pressed the power button to lock the phone and tried to unlock it a second time. It worked. My eyes bulged out. He did it over and over again, much to our nearby friends by surprise. Thankfully, no one else there was able to unlock my phone.

I have searched online and found that other people have had the same problem since the phone became available last month. Some people were able to unlock the Pixel 6a with fingers they had not registered in the device’s settings. And two YouTube channels have prove that people can unlock Pixel 6a even if their fingerprint is not stored in the phone.

As a rule, both consumers and corporate employees want to keep the content on their devices private. People will expect that their device won’t accidentally allow access by strangers or even friends or family members. That means this issue isn’t the best thing to happen for Google’s fast-growing line of Pixel smartphones. Apple iPhone and countless Android phones.

Google shipped 800,000 smartphones in the US in the second quarter, up about 230% year over year, according to estimates released Monday by the technology industry research group. Canalys. Canalys says Apple, Samsung, Motorola and TCL all ship more phones in North America than Google.

The $449 Pixel 6a contains the same Google Tensor chip as the Pixel 6 from 2021, which Sundar Pichai, CEO of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, told analysts in April as “the best-selling Pixel since so far”.

The Pixel A series of phones like the Pixel 6a are meant to offer the same technology as Google’s flagship models at a lower price point.

People can set up the Pixel 6a without enabling fingerprint unlock, but it’s still a popular alternative to a passcode.

“The in-display fingerprint sensor in Pixel 6a has been tested to meet industry standards for security, where the probability of an unverified fingerprint match is 1 in 50,000 attempts,” a Google spokesperson said. told CNBC in an email. “We’re constantly making improvements to fingerprint performance, stability, and reliability, and users should make sure they’re running the latest version of Android 13.”

Apple mentioned above its website that the probability that two separate fingerprints match a finger registered in its Touch ID technology is one in 50,000. The odds of correctly guessing a person’s four-digit passcode to unlock the device are, for comparison, one in 10,000.

Authentication issues have occurred on phones from other manufacturers that rely on facial recognition. Not exactly the same family members have unlocked Apple’s iPhone X in 2017and in 2019, people discovered that it was possible to unlock Samsung’s Galaxy S10 with the phone’s owner’s photo.

Although it’s rare, it still scares me when someone else’s fingerprint unlocks my phone. If you’re worried about that too, you can simply rely on another authentication method instead.

CLOCK: Why does Google continue to sell hardware?

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