Google’s Pixel 4 uses a new face recognition system to unlock the phone but it doesn’t require the device owner’s eyes to be open, causing security concerns as anyone can grab the phone and point it at the owner’s face to access potentially sensitive information. Thankfully, this won’t be the case for long as Google said a forthcoming update will add an option remedying the issue.
Instead of sticking with the normal and conventional fingerprint sensor, Google opted for a facial recognition system on its latest Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL smartphones à la Face ID on Apple’s iPhones. It can be used to unlock the phone, but it also meets certain security requirements that allow it to access sensitive apps — like banking apps — and authenticate payments.
Google has plans to fix this issue in a few months or so. If you are a user of the PIxel 4 and Pixel 4XL there’s a secondary security lock feature called the Lockdown mode, a feature in the Android 9 Pie that disables all biometric authentication methods and requires the input of a pin, pattern, or password to access the device. It can be quickly accessed from a phone’s volume menu (tap on the volume buttons), but you’ll need to toggle it on first. To do so, go to Settings > Display > Advanced > Lock screen display and toggle on Show lockdown option.
You’ll now see an option to quickly lock down the phone in the volume menu, and anyone trying to access the device again will need to add a pin, pattern, or password, depending on what you’ve set as your secondary screen lock method.