19 February 2020
Samsung introduced the 3D ultrasonic fingerprint scanner on its Galaxy S10 and Note 10 phones with some big claims like “high level of security.” Promoted as top-notch and secure, the technology perhaps failed to retain its trust when it got discovered that any user can get a hold of your phone even if their fingerprint is not registered. The flaw came into notice when it was found that the reader was allowing access to anyone if they used a screen protector.
Now, according to a report from KoreaTimes, Samsung is hesitant to use Qualcomm ultrasonic fingerprint sensors in 2020 models. It is even reported that there is a growing concern among smartphone manufacturers and customers about the security of Qualcomm’s Ultrasonic fingerprint sensors. The report even adds that industry officials had doubts even before the tech made it to the market via Samsung phones. The concerns were raised as the tech “exhibited a greater probability of errors.”
An official from a telecommunications company said on condition of anonymity,
"Samsung Electronics applied the ultrasonic fingerprint scanners to its new smartphones despite lingering security concerns. The latest security issue involving the new technology could cause other smartphone manufacturers to hesitate to adopt it."
The flaw discovered last month in the Galaxy S10 and Note 10 devices was major enough to compel several banks to order its customers not to use fingerprint recognition as an option while making transactions.
The same official added that the companies have to be more cautious in designing software for the ultrasonic fingerprint scanners and offer consistent updates to ensure security.
Compared to the ultrasonic fingerprint scanners, the optical fingerprint readers which are present in almost every Android phone today has turned out to be a better option.
Samsung Securities analyst Lee Jong-Wook said,
If Samsung Electronics replaces the fingerprint sensors in question with traditional optical scanners, this would benefit domestic companies that offer optical scanners.