When it comes to iPhone vs. the world, there’s the reality of encrypted, password protected security, and then there are gimmicks. Apple remains, as always, behind Samsung’s gimmicks. True privacy and security on iPhone or Android devices remains as it has been for years. Tied to a good password.
For now, Apple’s security options are minimal. There’s password. There’s complicated password. And there’s Touch ID fingerprint sensor. iPhone does not yet have an option for voice recognition, facial recognition, or even an iris scanner. Siri, Alexa, Cortana, and Google Assistant cannot even recognize your voice from a thief.
Samsung has pushed out an iris scanner (again), this time on the Galaxy S8, as an added layer of security. As if a complicated password or a fingerprint sensor isn’t enough. Meanwhile, Apple remains somewhat in the dark ages with the basics; a relatively secure fingerprint sensor that can be compromised, but not without effort, and once an iPhone has been powered down, the user password becomes a requirement anyway.
Samsung’s new Galaxy S8 iris scanner sounds impressive, and, as another layer among many layers of security and user recognition options, could be beneficial. Hackers in Germany were not impressed and surfaced a video which explains just how easy the scanner was to circumvent.
Simply put, they took a digital photo of a face, cropped and printed out– on a Samsung printer, no less– an image of the user’s eye which was considered sufficient authentication and unlocked the Galaxy smartphone.
Here’s what Samsung says about the Galaxy S8’s security.
We care deeply about your privacy. So we made the Galaxy S8 and S8+ our securest phones yet. There’s an iris scanner for peace of mind
Samsung is half right. The iris scanner is there for peace of mind, but, obviously, not as the end-all, be-all of security options. And, no Samsung doesn’t care about your privacy. Otherwise, why use Android OS at all?
Fingerprints have similar weaknesses, of course, and can be captured and duplicated to open an iPhone or other smartphones with fingerprint sensors. What I find interesting about these somewhat new security features is how they can still be compromised. And, why are they not provided as additional layers. Voice recognition and face recognition are here already. Add to the former a specific phrase which only the devices’ owner or user would know. Add to that a specifically contorted face which the camera and software would recognize as the wrong face, and thereby lock down the device even more.
iPhone in iOS 10 has a nice feature called Raise to Wake which can be convenient but also a security risk. How about incorporating in Raise to Wake multiple layers of security? For example, Raise to Wait starts the face recognition option, turns on the voice capture, and lets the user implement Touch ID– all at the same time, in one motion.
Now we’re talking security and convenience. You won’t find that on Android, you won’t find it on iOS, and there’s no built-in method for a third party app to provide all those much-needed layers.
Other than the plain old vanilla password, everything else is just a gimmick.