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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Comment by v_bobok
by v_bobok on Wed 11th Sep 2013 23:22 UTC
v_bobok
Member since:
2008-08-01

In this day and age would you ever trust these guys completely?

Edited 2013-09-11 23:22 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by v_bobok
by WorknMan on Wed 11th Sep 2013 23:28 in reply to "Comment by v_bobok"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

In this day and age would you ever trust these guys completely?


No, of course not. On the other hand, I live in the US, in a state that requires fingerprints to get a drivers license. So if they want my fingerprint, they have it already.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: Comment by v_bobok
by drstorm on Thu 12th Sep 2013 08:15 in reply to "RE: Comment by v_bobok"
drstorm Member since:
2009-04-24

Yes, but they are still not *sure* that it is you using a particular phone - until now!

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by v_bobok
by Alfman on Thu 12th Sep 2013 16:59 in reply to "RE: Comment by v_bobok"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

WorknMan,

"No, of course not. On the other hand, I live in the US, in a state that requires fingerprints to get a drivers license. So if they want my fingerprint, they have it already."

It makes me wonder what proportion of people have their prints recorded?

As a green card holder in US, my thumb print is displayed on my green card. I have to go to DHS to get new prints every several years, and the TSA has taken my fingerprints every time I've flown internationally (I'm not sure if this is routine policy?).

The local PD has a program to finger & footprint newborns but there's no legal requirement to do so, I wonder who takes them up on it.


I'm not one to cherish the privacy of my fingerprints so much, but the prospect of being falsely implicated in a crime due to false positives is a chilling thought.

Edited 2013-09-12 17:00 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE: Comment by v_bobok
by Tony Swash on Thu 12th Sep 2013 16:25 in reply to "Comment by v_bobok"
Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

I understand the worry and fuss about the NSA stuff but the simple reality is that the actual danger of a thief stealing and accessing my phone is about ten thousand times more of an actual threat than the government getting hold of a scan of my fingerprints.

Personally I couldn't care less if the government has my fingerprints. I do care a great deal about thieves accessing the stuff on my phone and but I also find find entering a pass code every time I use the phone very tedious indeed. Touch ID seems a great step forward to me, more insecurity and less intrusion, what's not to like?

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by v_bobok
by Lennie on Fri 13th Sep 2013 09:29 in reply to "RE: Comment by v_bobok"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

Actually, when the police start to look at your phone, you'll be very disappointed about how much information is actually kept on your phone. And they'll twist that information to fit their need. You think you are innocent, the police or other agency might have a different idea.

Reply Parent Score: 2