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

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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lifting prints from glass, etc.
by ezraz on Fri 13th Sep 2013 15:04 UTC
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I've read that it appears (not tested yet) that Apple's scanning system defeats the re-created prints used in the German protest, where hackers found, recreated, then distributed a politicians print that actually allowed some other people to get through his biometric security.

I hope this is the case. I'm sure hackers will start attacking the 5s in the next few weeks. We will read those reports and make judgement then. Personally my 32gb 4 is still perfect for me so I'm not in the market. My gfriend is getting a 5c asap though, her 3s is finally breaking down after 4 years.

I do find it amazing how some of you continually believe Apple has no engineering sense to solve (or at least address) these problems.

Some of you truly believe that Apple does nothing more than package and market existing technologies. Ever. You have no idea of the number of large and small comp-sci problems that Apple engineers have attacked over the years.

You'd probably all still be using dumb phones with 2x2 screens and text control if it wasn't for Apple's engineers. For that matter you might still be plugging wires into your motherboard, storing data on magnetic discs in paper envelopes, and flipping switches to load a program if it wasn't for apple's engineers. No one company has pushed personal computing farther along than Apple in the last 37 years, but according to some of you they have the engineering prowess of Coca Cola Inc.

Haters hate. Bury your head in the sand and wait to buy the 2 knockoffs currently being developed by from Samsung and HTC, you know they are coming. Start the copy machines! But no one can match apple's hardware/software integration, for instance, the new camera on the 5s looks pretty bad azz. Only nokia's camera is coming close to apple's. The 1000-tone flash, the 120fps slow-mo, the burst and re-assemble on the fly (replacing out of focus areas with same area from another shot in the burst) - that's engineering folks, not marketing.

Edited 2013-09-13 15:11 UTC

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