| May 01, 2019
Modern day smartphones come loaded with various security features. Any high-end phone these days offers face unlock and fingerprint unlock. Fingerprint unlock first debuted in the starting of the decade. Only two major smartphones company tested their smartphones with the security sphere of a fingerprint. They believed that the fingerprint of the user would be hard to spoof, and hackers, as a result, won’t be able to fool the machine.
However, as technology progresses, hackers eventually found a way to crack fingerprint locks. Then, the companies switched their interests and ushered in a new era of biometric security- face detection.
Comparing both these measures of security, one can safely assume that in the coming time, these two ways of security can be easily spoofed. However, as we evolve daily, these inventions have come a long way since their finding days.
Face recognition is of various types. A typical expensive smartphone would pack a high level of face recognition safety. However, the security of a low-end smartphone can easily be broken. Initially, face detection was done through the optical lens of the camera. As a result, the camera only needed a 2-d model of the image, as it itself viewed images in the 2-d form. Thus, a person could easily unlock a phone using an image of the owner. However, the current expensive generation of phones offers live facial detection coupled with an iris scanner. This means that the phone’s camera not only scans the images which are kept in front of it but also checks the iris of the person.
The human iris contains minute details, which differs from person to person. So, one can safely assume that the iris design of no two people will be the same. Smartphone companies use this to their advantage, using the human eye as a security key. The new iris scanner also forces the user to keep their eyes open while unlocking the phone. This means that the phone stays locked if the person is sleeping. But the camera is pointed at his face.
Fingerprint detection has been in the market for a few years now. While buying a new phone, people often look for a phone that offers at least fingerprint detection. Fingerprint detection works through a sensor that is placed on your phone. The sensor creates a digital image for your mobile, so it knows what your fingerprints look like. Most phones have more than more sensor. Which detects whether the image generated by the sensors are of a real finger or not.
It is the combination of various sensors that make a phone fingerprint unlockable. However, as the race for broader display heats up, smartphone manufacturers are shifting the position of the fingerprint detector. Either company shift the sensor to the back panel of the phone or reduce its size to the screen to body ratio stays high.
Like its successor, fingerprint detection also creates a 3-d model of the finger, which helps the mobile’s software differentiate between various fingers. Like the iris, the fingerprint of each person is different. As a result, the security code of your phone is unique.
Like Fingerprints, our iris model also stays the same throughout our life. So, these keys are always with the user to unlock their phone. However, unlike the eye, the human hand doesn’t clean itself. It might often happen that you place your dirty or oily finger on the scanner and the mobile might not recognize you. But the human eye is self-cleaning. Any dust particle that enters the eye is immediately ejected with the help of tears. Therefore, the problem of your phone not recognizing you due to a dirty key is not a possibility.
Furthermore, since you have to touch the fingerprint sensor every time you want to unlock your phone, any dirt particles can damage the fragile sensor, thus locking you out of your phone if you don’t have your backup password. The facial recognition software uses the phone’s camera (most often the front camera) to get the picture of the subject.
Researchers in 2016 had pointed out that the fingerprint sensor of a smartphone. Could be fooled by uploading a scanned photo of the fingerprint at 300dpi. However, mobile manufacturers have come a long way since then in upgrading the security level of the smartphone.
Facial recognition works better for a person as compared to fingerprint detection. It releases the person from the hassle of moving their thumb or index finger to a particular place on their mobile phone. A user would just have to bring their phone in level with their eye. The latest smartphones offer the best quality iris scan, which makes smartphone security difficult to crack.
Fingerprint sensors are, however, cheap. If you run an individual business and are looking to equip biometric security, fingerprint sensors are cheap and easy to install. On the other hand, each retina scanner(for facial recognition) is quite expensive. The processing power of both these technologies is different, as fingerprint sensors work a bit faster than facial recognition.
Now, as the ability to pay at shops with your mobile phone is becoming more popular, the apps that enable such features can also be protected with facial and thumb impression. So, even your money is protected by your fingerprint or iris model.
Many people would agree that facial recognition is better than a fingerprint. But they must remember that only a good combination of both will work better than either one. Since phones, these days come equipped with either sensor. It is really up to the users to choose their model of comfort unlocking. We have come far from the days of manually typing passwords or drawing figures on the mobile screen, but instead, we are now faced with a greater more important question. Which of the two services is more secure and better suited for humans. As long as science and technology march forward, older ways to protect data will become obsolete.