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Twin peeks: Identical brothers are able to unlock each other’s phone

Thomas and William Johnson with their phones (Andrew Cawley / DC Thomson)
Thomas and William Johnson with their phones (Andrew Cawley / DC Thomson)

IDENTICAL twins Thomas and William Johnson, 18, are foxing facial recognition by opening each other’s mobile phones.

Twins like the brothers from Balfron, Stirlingshire, pose the greatest challenge to facial identification technology.

Strathclyde University chemical engineering twin, William, said: “We have read so much about facial recognition being fail-safe so I thought there would be no chance of me opening Thomas’s phone.

“But within a couple of seconds of looking at it, the phone unlocked.

“I was surprised because we have different phones which I thought would make it more difficult to breech.

“We are also slightly different in weight. I am heavier than Thomas.”

Thomas has an iPhone 10 and William an LG G6.

Biomechanical engineering student Thomas said: “We were quite surprised, after reading all the claims made by the security of facial recognition technology.”

Less than four in 1,000 births are identical twins.

Dr David Robertson, a leading researcher in facial identity at Strathclyde Uni, said: “One way to reduce the likelihood of incorrect twin recognition may be to use their face average.

“That’s a blended image of many different photos of them which can detect the very small differences.”

iPhone makers Apple said: “The probability that a random person in the population could look at your iPhone or iPad pro and unlock it using Face ID is approximately one in a million.”