July 15, 2024


The Joy of Technology

Google’s Pixel 6a appears to have a massive security issue

Google’s Pixel 6a appears to have a massive security issue

Google’s Pixel 6a appears to have a massive security issue


After unveiling the phone at Google I/O in May, Google opened preorders for the Pixel 6a last Thursday. Early reviews have been rather positive, with members of the press praising its design, performance, and battery life. Unfortunately, the Pixel 6a might also present an enormous security issue that Google needs to fix as soon as possible.


Pixel 6a fingerprint sensor security issue

Pixel 6a owners that got their hands on the phone early have shared their concerns about a fairly serious issue on social media. These users claim that the Pixel 6a in-display fingerprint sensor works with any finger. Even if you set up Google’s Fingerprint Unlock feature to work with one of your fingerprints, anyone’s will work.

It’s unclear how widespread this issue might be or what is causing it. That said, there are at least two videos showcasing the issue in action. In the first, you can see a number of people unlock a Pixel 6a despite the fact that they have not set up their fingerprints on the phone. The phone doesn’t even seem to be checking their fingerprints:


In another video, Youtuber Geekyranjit shows how his Pixel 6a unlocks with either of his thumbs, despite the fact that he only set up a fingerprint for one of them. He experiments with a variety of other phones to show that this isn’t the expected behavior:


These videos are especially curious given that none of the reviews mentioned any issues with the fingerprint sensor. Here are a few quotes from reviews:

  • “For securely unlocking your phone, the 6a features an under-display fingerprint scanner that worked flawlessly in our testing.” – PCMag
  • ” And yes, that fingerprint scanner is also fast, and though it’s not leaps and bounds ahead of the Google Pixel 6’s, it’s more responsive.” – Gizmodo
  • “The Pixel 6a is a slight improvement on the whole. It feels a tick faster than the Pixel 6 Pro, but just barely. You’d really only notice the difference in side-by-side usage. In terms of reliability, I didn’t really have any complaints.” – 9to5Google

This might simply be a case of a few faulty models, but we can’t be sure quite yet. Google has yet to address these reports at the time of writing.


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