Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 11th Sep 2013 22:16 UTC
Apple

Apple's new iPhone 5S, which comes with a fingerprint scanner, won't store actual images of users' fingerprints on the device, a company spokesman confirmed Wednesday, a decision that could ease concerns from privacy hawks.

Rather, Apple's new Touch ID system only stores "fingerprint data", which remains encrypted within the iPhone's processor, a company representative said Wednesday. The phone then uses the digital signature to unlock itself or make purchases in Apple's iTunes, iBooks or App stores.

In practice, this means that even if someone cracked an iPhone's encrypted chip, they likely wouldn't be able to reverse engineer someone's fingerprint.

This seems relatively safe - but then again, only if you trust that government agencies don't have some sort of backdoor access anyway. This used to be tinfoil hat stuff, but those days are long gone.

I dislike the characterisation of privacy "hawks", though. It reminds me of how warmongering politicians in Washington are referred to as 'hawks", and at least in my view, it has a very negative connotation.

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RE[5]: wait
by Neolander on Thu 12th Sep 2013 17:50 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: wait"
Neolander
Member since:
2010-03-08

Do I think Apple is going to do anything "naughty" with these sensor and the information it generates? Not necessarily. Do I trust them? No, not really. The only way they can demonstrate that they're trustworthy is by releasing the actual code and design details. Trust is earned not granted. Specially when it comes to very large companies, which are known to do plenty of naughty things.

Then again, even if they did gave you some piece of source code and told you "this is the source of the fingerprint reader software", how would you be sure that it's actually this code that is used inside of the iPhone ?

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