To my knowledge this is due to hightened security requirements by Google in Android 13 wrt. 11 which means the fingerprint hardware in the FP3 is no longer seen as “secure enough” by Google for the highest level of access to certain Android APIs including unlocking the Android keystore.
As Fairphone has to pass Google certification there is no way to “cheat” around this. Maybe custom ROMs can.
are people now left outside of their protected payloads or how does this fingerprint authentication backend get handled by the new android? is there a fallback or are people left stranded with no access any more?
The fingerprint is used instead of the password of the respective app.
So in the banking app you need to input your banking password.
In your password manager you’ll need to input your master password (keepass2android allows a so-called “quick unlock” where you only have to enter the last couple of characters of your full password which you will have to enter fully e.g. after a reboot once).
And so on.
So I guess everyone affected in more than one app who hasn’t used a password manager so far, now might be a good time.
Edit: I guess I haven’t written it explicitly, but on a daily driver this regression really, really sucks even with a password manager as workaround.
Edit 2: yeah, if someone totally relied on the fingerprint sensor and completely forgot the password it was replacing, access might be lost. Depending on the app, different scenarios could be possible. E.g. for my banking app I would probably have to reset the app and request a new activation with initial password via snail mail if I had no way to recover my app password (which is why I use and recommend a password manager).
Edit 3: there has been at least one case of some federal app from Austria that only allows biometric unlocking, so cases exist where no app password as fallback is possible
If I take my bank apps, one works with the fingerprint but two now require I enter numbers provided by a small “calculator”. It won’t work with a password manager but I have to carry these calculators with me all the time (not difficult but unpleasant and longer to connect).
Sorry to mention that again but you should adress that towards Google and/or that respective app provider.
Google made the decision and flagged several fingerprint devices as “weak” and some (but at the moment not all, but I guess the number will grow over time) app developers put that decision into code. No Fairphone fault at all in this case.
Nevertheless, if you take security seriously, think twice about “fingerprint security” and btw: There´s already an answer/solution to this topic (so please … if you think it´s worth to argue about this issue better start a new one)
I don’t agree here, because the communication of the fact wasn’t handled well.
Having release notes ready as soon as the update gets rolled out is a bare minimum if you ask me and that point should have been included.
That at least would have enabled others to warn about the consequences, in case those wouldn’t have been too explicit in the release notes.
I quite agree. This was a feature that worked and people used before the update and now doesn’t work as a direct result of the update. My guess is that Fairphone knew about this but went ahead with it anyway as “Our phone technically works for 7 years but expect features to stop working during that time” doesn’t fit with their messaging.
Sorry if you think the way I manage my own data on my own device is wrong.
Google may well be the instigator of the latest FP3 problem but Fairphone are wholly responsible for pushing this OS update which in turn has removed fingerprint functionability. Epic fail (unless they do find a work-a-round).
Did they not check the Google requirements before pressing forward with Android 13? Would this have been a problem with Android 12? Did any beta testers report the issue and if yes, why did they press ahead with the roll out?
I think Fairphone should give owners a choice of an OS rollback. Your choice, either full phone functionability with no further updates OR updates as is.
Anyone know why this is this thread marked as solved? Have I missed something.
I agree that the communication wasn´t handled well in this case. The end users were not able to review this information before the update.
Question for me is rather who/what is the source of this bad way of communication?
I can´t find any indication in the Android 13 release notes and here within Google´s release note I would see the one responsible for this issue.
Sorry if you feel hurt but I didn´t intend to judge anything as wrong or right. I just stated that “fingerprint security” is not secure.