Samsung faces questions as biometric Galaxy S8 log-in raises security and constitutional challenges

Samsung faces a challenge as biometric log-in raises security and constitutional challenges

Samsung’s headline grabbing move to employ facial recognition tech in its flagship Galaxy S8 smartphone has raised concerns in some quarters that the world may not be quite ready for the futuristic tool.

While security specialists have already pointed out that the phones scanner can be duped by a simple photograph to gain entry to someone else’s phone constitutional experts point out that while the US Fifth Amendment offers protections for passwords and codes no such protections are afforded to biometric security measures such as face scanning.

This offers individuals the legal right to withhold their PIN number or password as this is defined as being a mental process and not a physical object, unlike the dimensions of your own face.

Apple has already fallen foul of this legal quirk after a judge in Virginia granted permission for local police to access a suspect’s phone by using a fingerprint back in 2014 – essentially forcing people to incriminate themselves.

Whilst this won’t be an issue for the vast majority of Galaxy S8 owners who remain on the straight and narrow the advice for those who feel they may cross the thin blue line is to stick with tried and tested character and numeric codes for now.

A case in point lies in Apple boss Tim Cook's repeated pledges to ignore 'cancerous' requests by the FBI to provide help to crack its own encryption software.

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John Glenday

John Glenday is responsible for compiling The Drum's daily morning bulletin and ensuring that overnight breaking news is covered while you're still brushing your teeth. Can also make a mean cup of tea.

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