Samsung considers dropping ultrasonic fingerprint scanners in future releases
Samsung’s Galaxy S11 series might not come with ultrasonic biometric fingerprint scanners, following the major blow Galaxy S10 series took when users complained a cheap screen protector could manipulate the fingerprint readers and let anyone unlock their phones, Mashable reports.
In its S10 series, Samsung integrated ultrasonic scanners from Qualcomm. Earlier this year, it was reported that the ultrasonic biometric fingerprint scanner could easily be hacked with a 3D-printed copy of the phone owner’s thumbprint taken from a photograph of a print on a wine glass. Based on its specifications, the ultrasonic sensor should detect liveness by sensing blood flow, which was not the case in this situation.
Samsung Securities analyst Lee Jong-wook told Mashable that the company is considering the complete removal of ultrasonic fingerprints from the phone feature list, but did not give too many details on what the security patch entailed.
Although Samsung patched the security flaw, it would be hard to regain market confidence after the negative publicity the company suffered when a number of financial and security apps blocked the fingerprint reader.
While optical fingerprint scanners are faster, ultrasonic fingerprint readers are often considered more accurate as they develop a visual image of the fingerprint. If Samsung opts out of fingerprint readers, it might resort to facial recognition as the main entry point. A top competitor, Apple has moved on to facial recognition, though the company may soon offer both biometrics, while Android phones have so far largely stuck with fingerprint readers.