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Some jerk unlocked his ex-girlfriend’s phone by lifting her eyelids, making off with $24K

He first used her fingerprint to unlock her phone, then her eyes to get into Alipay.

facial recognition in singapore
Image: DBS

You might want to rethink using eye or facial recognition to unlock your phone or accounts. The authorities in China have jailed a man after he stole from his ex-girlfriend. The way he did it will have you pause; as he lifted up her eyelids as she slept to authenticate into her digital wallet.

The theft was reported on by Vice, with a tale that could have come from a Hollywood rom-com dystopian fever dream.

Man meets girl. Girl lends him money. Relationship ends. Man charms his way back into her apartment, saying he wants to return the money. Man gives woman cold medicine because she was feeling ill. Woman falls asleep. Man uses her fingerprint to unlock her phone; then lifts her eyelid to pass Alipay’s facial recognition checks.

The man then transferred about $24,200 from her accounts to his own, which he went and spent on gambling debts and living expenses.

He has been sentenced to serve 3.6 years of jail time and has a $3,100 fine to pay. Maybe there will be some hijinks as he embezzles the money to pay off his fine.

Whatever the end result of this individual story, the lesson learned is applicable to anyone who uses a digital wallet. Always secure things with a passcode, passphrase, or another type of password. Relying on biometric authentication is only going to end up in tears.

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Maker, meme-r, and unabashed geek with nearly half a decade of blogging experience at KnowTechie, SlashGear and XDA Developers. If it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't), Joe probably has one around his office somewhere, with particular focus in gadgetry and handheld gaming. Shoot him an email at joe@knowtechie.com.

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