Samsung working on a fix for the Galaxy S10 fingerprint issue

Ruben Fields
October 18, 2019

It all started when a user in the United Kingdom had her phone unlocked by her husband's fingerprint after installing a screen protector on the display, Reuters reports, citing The Sun.

Samsung responded by saying that it's investigating the issue and advised customers to only use official Samsung screen protectors.

Samsung has previously warned that using "unofficial, scratched or dirty screen protectors may cause the fingerprint sensor to malfunction", but the Korean tech giant has now said that they will be rolling out a software update to patch the issue soon.

The Galaxy S10 features what Samsung calls "a revolutionary new biometric authentication in-display fingerprint sensor fused into the Infinity-O Display, providing invisible yet vault-like security that keeps your data sends ultrasonic pulses to detect the 3D ridges and valleys of your unique fingerprint". The ultrasonic fingerprint sensor couldn't work its way through the tempered glass screen protector and read fingerprints, prompting users to opt for alternatives, like plastic and gel.

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What in the world might have happened?

Use authorized Samsung accessories instead to evade any security breach. The protector in question was one of those gel-based layers created to keep the screen safe but not intrude too much on the handset's design.

Samsung has known for some time that screen protectors could interfere with the ultrasonic fingerprint reader. Her husband's fingerprint was then able to unlock the phone, even though it wasn't registered on the flagship. This means other people can unlock the device - and authorise app installations and payments - with their own fingerprint.

South Korea's online-only KaKao Bank told customers to switch off the fingerprint-recognition option to log in to its services until the issue was fixed.

Samsung will soon roll out a software patch that will fix these problems, Reuters says.

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