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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Not a great idea...
by JLF65 on Thu 12th Sep 2013 02:52 UTC
JLF65
Member since:
2005-07-06

So when the thieves steal your iPhone, they'll need to steal a finger, too, right? Don't think it'll happen? It already has with other items with biometric locks.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Not a great idea...
by Sauron on Thu 12th Sep 2013 04:24 in reply to "Not a great idea..."
Sauron Member since:
2005-08-02

My thoughts exactly. They toughened up bank card security which led to more intrusive ways the criminals used to get what they wanted. They toughened up car security so there was no way it could be stolen without the keys, that led to burglaries so the f*****s could get the keys, some violent ones at that. Now wait for the violence to escalate and some poor sod have their fingers removed with a penknife and stolen along with their device.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Not a great idea...
by jared_wilkes on Thu 12th Sep 2013 04:36 in reply to "Not a great idea..."
jared_wilkes Member since:
2011-04-25

If someone is about to cut off your fingers, touch your home button and give them the phone.

Likewise, presently, if someone is going to caught off your fingers or do anything mortally harmful to you to access your phone, give them your passcode and the phone.

If your phone contains something that is worth losing your fingers — or any other part of your body — for, do not get into situations where someone will cut off your fingers to get into your phone.

If you generally don't want to lose your phone or fingers, try to avoid or be prepared for situations where someone will cut off your fingers or steal a phone that is useless to them.

Try to be more self-aware, vigilant, and less stupid.

Edited 2013-09-12 04:40 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Not a great idea...
by Sauron on Thu 12th Sep 2013 04:56 in reply to "RE: Not a great idea..."
Sauron Member since:
2005-08-02

Ha, there's always one! Do you really think any of that is going to stop a druggy arsehole? If so you need to get out more and see what happens in certain areas. None of it effects me, I don't have or want a smartphone and if I did I wouldn't touch anything made by Apple with a ten foot bargepole! I just feel for the poor sods that may come across this.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Not a great idea...
by ichi on Thu 12th Sep 2013 08:04 in reply to "Not a great idea..."
ichi Member since:
2007-03-06

So when the thieves steal your iPhone, they'll need to steal a finger, too, right? Don't think it'll happen? It already has with other items with biometric locks.


They don't need to steal your finger: you are holding the phone with your hands, your fingerprints are already all over the device.

Reply Parent Score: 4