Galaxy Nexus Release Date: Face Unlock Poses Security Flaw, Still Image Opens Nexus

One of the new specifications that will debut on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus is a Face Unlock screen that allows users to access their smartphone using facial recognition.

However, developers have discovered what could be a serious security flaw in the lock screen. Industry Insiders proposed that the Face Unlock screen could easily be tricked into granting access to a phone by simply using a photograph of the user.

Malaysian technology website SoyaCincau was able to demonstrate the flaw at a regional launch for the Samsung Galaxy Note tablet.

The developer took a photo of him using the Galaxy Note tablet and put it screen-to-screen with a Galaxy Nexus smartphone he had programmed with his face recognition. During several attempts, the developer was able to access the phone using a still image.

Several developers reported trouble using Face Unlock. Many noted that even Google's Director of Products for Android Hugo Barra had trouble accessing a programmed Galaxy Nexus at the "Samsung Unlocked: Google Episode" media event Oct. 19.

However, insiders also noted that Face Unlock is still being developed and should become more sophisticated with future versions.

GSM Arena suggested that Android should label Face Unlock as a beta version at its launch, until a more stable version is developed, while Phandroid suggested that Face Unlock is not intended to be a state-of-the-art security feature.

"No fool would think Face Unlock is about security... It’s about quick and easy unlocking. That’s it," Phandroid said.