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iPhone fingerprint technology safety

7:13 PM, Sep 18, 2013   |    comments
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By Margaret Conley, CNN

When Apple announced a fingerprint scanner as a security feature on its new iPhone, people had a lot of questions.

Some people wondered if it's safe from hackers. Others wondered if your fingerprints would be stored in a government database.

"The touch ID sensor quickly reads your fingerprint and automatically unlocks your phone. You can even use it to authorize purchases through our stores" said Dan Riccio, senior vice president of hardware engineering.

But is fingerprinting safe from hackers and the growing risk of identity theft? Hollywood movies like National Treasure make lifting prints look easy.

Security researcher Marc Rogers warns that it depends on how the software giant implements the technology.

"Apple has clearly thought about this, because the data is not going to be stored in the cloud so there's not going to be a giant database of lots of people's sensitive information that would be a prized target of hackers or enemy state hackers," said Rogers.

He says fingerprinting is convenient for users and will be a boost to the mobile industry.

"It could open a really huge universe of opportunities," said Rogers.

New biotech mapping opportunities are already in the making. Vascular technology uses infrared light to reflect patterns of blood vessels. And iris recognition, developed by companies like MorphoTrust.

"So the goggles will go ahead and automatically look at the irises," said Roland Fournier, vice president of business operations for MorphoTrust.

Eye-mapping is said to be faster and more accurate.

"You have fingers are one in 64 billion and irises accuracy is you have one in about 1 trillion," said Fournier.

The iris technology is expensive but it's becoming more popular for use by law enforcement.


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