Up to four fingerprints can be saved on the Google Pixel 6a for use as an unlocking mechanism.
A few individuals, including this writer, discovered that others could unlock their phones.
According to Google, the phone passed tests to ensure it could be unlocked by a fingerprint with a chance of one in 50,000.
I just showed my friend Pavlo my brand-new Google Pixel 6a smartphone. When I gave it to him, the phone was locked. Then all of a sudden, he was fixated on my home screen. The phone unlocked after he placed his finger on the area of the display where the phone looks for fingerprints.
I gasped. My heart rate increased.
“Pavlo!” I said. “That’s not how it should work,” He tried unlocking the phone again after pressing the power button to lock it. It succeeded. My eyes grew wide. He continued to do it, surprise our neighbours’ friends each time. Fortunately, nobody else present was able to unlock my phone.
Since the phone became available last month, other individuals have reported having similar problems, according to a search I did online. Using fingers that weren’t registered in the Pixel 6a’s settings, some users were able to unlock the smartphone. Additionally, according to two YouTube channels, users could still unlock a Pixel 6a even if their fingerprints weren’t saved on the device.
In general, both customers and employees of corporations desire to keep the information on their devices private. People will anticipate that their gadgets won’t unintentionally provide strangers, much alone friends or relatives, access. This problem is thus not ideal for Google’s rapidly expanding Pixel brand of devices, which competes with Apple’s iPhones and a wide range of Android phones.
According to estimates released on Monday by technology industry research organisation Canalys, Google delivered 800,000 smartphones in the U.S. during the second quarter, an increase of almost 230% year over year. According to Canalys, Apple, Samsung, Motorola, and TCL all delivered more phones to North America than Google.
The Google Tensor chip included in the $449 Pixel 6a is the same one found in the Pixel 6 from 2021, which Sundar Pichai, CEO of Alphabet, the parent company of Google, said in April is “the fastest-selling Pixel ever.”
The Pixel 6a and other A-line devices are designed to offer comparable technology to Google’s flagship models at a more affordable price.
The fingerprint unlock function on the Pixel 6a may be configured without being enabled, but it’s still a well-liked substitute for a passcode.
A Google representative wrote to CNBC in an email, saying, “The under-display fingerprint sensor in Pixel 6a was tested to satisfy the industry standard for security where the likelihood of an unconfirmed fingerprint match is 1 in 50,000 tries.” Users should make sure they are on the most recent version of Android 13, as we are always working to enhance the performance, stability, and reliability of our fingerprint system.
According to PeopleApple, the likelihood of two distinct fingerprints matching a single finger registered with their Touch ID technology is one in 50,000. For comparison’s sake, the likelihood of successfully guessing a person’s four-digit password to access a gadget is one in 10,000.
On phones from other manufacturers that have depended on facial recognition, authentication problems have appeared. In 2017, persons who were distantly related were able to unlock an Apple iPhone X, while in 2019, it was revealed that a picture of the phone’s owner could be used to unlock a Samsung Galaxy S10.
Even if it’s uncommon, I still thought it was unsettling that someone else’s fingerprint might open my phone. If you’re concerned about it as well, you might choose to just use another authentication strategy.