South Korean consumer electronics giant Samsung may have another publicity nightmare on its hands. Following the controversy of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 and its exploding batteries, and reports that the Samsung Galaxy S8’s facial recognition feature can be fooled with just a photo, now, a new report indicates that the Samsung Galaxy Note 8’s facial recognition also falls prey to the same photo prank.
According to developer Mel Tajon, during his time playing around with a Samsung Galaxy Note 8 demo unit at Best Buy, he was able to fool the facial recognition feature with a photo displayed on another smartphone. He claims to have repeated the process again with several Facebook profile pictures and Instagram selfie pics from his iPhone, still managing to unlock the Galaxy Note 8.
As we mentioned, the Samsung Galaxy S8 was found to have a similar loophole in the facial recognition-based unlocking feature, but we weren’t able to replicate the issue (as seen below). We didn’t refute the original report, but ended up with the verdict that it may be possible to fool, just, not very easy. Samsung itself doesn’t consider facial recognition to be completely secure, which is one of the reasons it is not an authentication option for secure payment features, including Samsung Pay.
Tajon here points to three possibilities that may have caused the problem. The first, he says, may be that the demo unit at Best Buy had the issue, but retail units will not. The second, is that Samsung’ facial recognition is just bad, and that Samsung faked the demo intentionally, similarly to how it faked some benchmark reports in the past. And finally, Tajon claims that facial recognition tech could be bad and that the demo is proof of that. For now, until the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is put through its paces in detailed reviews, no definitive claims can be made.