The fingerprint or facial recognition, which is safer to enter a cell phone?

Cell phones are no longer simple devices to make and receive calls. Now in them we store sensitive data such as banking information, work, photos, contacts and passwords of sites that we use daily. For this reason, security mechanisms to protect phones have evolved over time, from simple passwords or patterns to biometrics, such as fingerprints or facial recognition.

Despite the existence of multiple security methods, 54 percent of users in Latin America do not protect their mobile devices and only 22 percent use anti-theft solutions, according to a 2018 Kaspersky Lab research. “By applying protection With a password and the use of a robust security solution, including anti-theft protection, you can protect your personal information, photos and online accounts against loss and malicious use, ”says Dmitry Aleshin, vice president of product marketing at Kaspersky Lab.

Biometrics became popular on phones in 2013 when the iPhone 5S featuring TouchID was released. This was considered the revolution in usability and security in devices, because a pattern was no longer necessary. Javier Marroquin, application and software developer, comments that later the industry revolutionized the design of devices when they wanted to achieve frameless mobiles, so Android chose to leave fingerprint recognition on the back.

While Apple decided to eliminate it and use facial recognition, a technology that became famous with the iPhone X in 2017 and that characterizes this company’s cell phones.

Faced with this innovation, we wonder what gives our mobile better security, the fingerprint or facial recognition?

“There is no certain answer to this question. The fingerprint is the protagonist of Android devices, while facial recognition is from Apple. The latter provides convenience and not so much security, that is why it is always required that it be accompanied by a PIN ”, explains Roberto Muñoz, software technology engineer.

The fingerprint is a more secure method, so it does not need to be accompanied by any pattern or PIN. (Free Press Photo: Shutterstock).

Currently, the fingerprint is more used because most people had the FaceID without the mask, so to use the cell phone they must remove it, which makes this method less convenient.


The fingerprint is more comfortable because when we grab the mobile the finger is already in the right place – or close – to unlock it. It can be done without looking at the cell phone, but it is still a voluntary action. “It can be said that this option offers comfort and safety at the same level,” says Muñoz.

In addition, it has high differentiability because the fingerprints are not repeated in any person and age does not affect their recognition, therefore it is often required to make an online purchase. It is also a very accurate option and can be done at close range.

Facial recognition

It is a form of biometric identification that uses body measurements, in this case the face and head, to verify the identity of a person. The technology collects a set of unique biometric data of each person associated with their face and facial expression to identify, verify and / or authenticate a person.

Many times facial characteristics can be repeated in people, however, this technology uses unique and dynamic mathematical patterns of each one, to make a safe system.

It can be used without the consent of the user, since it can be used from a long distance. In addition, it is less stable since it is affected by age or by an accessory that is worn at that time, such as a mask. “Perhaps before the pandemic this was the most widely used method because it is much more practical, however, now in devices such as iPhones that do not have the fingerprint option because it is totally touch, the PIN is more used,” says Muñoz.

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