Why is Apple’s New Touch ID, Limited to 5 Fingerprints?
Apple released a new iPhone today called the iPhone 5s, the major new feature is the new Touch-ID biometric Fingerprint scanner. The fingerprint scanner will be used as an identification source for unlocking your phone and identifying yourself when attempting to download apps. In light of the ongoing NSA surveillance news, one might naturally wonder: where are these Fingerprints stored? Can someone steal my phone and copy the print? How many prints can you register? Why is there a limit?
Where are these Fingerprints Located? Is this Secure?
The Fingerprints are stored on your iPhone, specifically inside the new A7 chip. The print is stored within the chip as opposed to the solid-state memory in an attempt to improve security.
The security of this type of setup is potentially susceptible to hackers. A hacker or government official could potentially hack into your iPhone and have access to your fingerprint. This hacker could then create a copy of your fingerprint and use it maliciously in many ways. The fact that the Fingerprint data is stored on your personal iPhones A7 Chip also creates a space/memory issue.
Why is Apple’s New Biometric Touch ID, Limited to 5 Fingerprints?
The new iPhone 5s is limited to 5 fingerprints. This limitation exists because there is only limited space available on the iPhone’s A7 chip, and matching fingerprints can become a processor-intensive task.
The Future of Touch ID, Beyond the iPhone 5s
In the future, when apple implements Touch ID fingerprint readers in the rest of their product line, you will need to re-scan your finger and have one print stored in each device. This could theoretically multiply the security vulnerabilities, because a hacker could attempt to access your least secure device. An offsite, segmented solution would be much safer.
Where Apple’s New iPhone 5s Biometric Fingerprint reader Went Wrong
It is very apparent that America is entering the biometric age. Computers, cars, laptops, tablets, and now Apple iPhone’s will require a fingerprint to access personal information. Even Microsoft released the Windows Biometric Framework years ago anticipating that an increasing number of devices would be driven by biometrics. Just like Microsoft, MinuteHound has been developing biometric software and devices in anticipation of a shift in the world that will require a more secure way to access and store indispensable information.
The biggest roadblock to biometrics is the safety and security of information, and that is where Apple’s iPhone 5s went wrong. Why, in this day and age, would Apple store a fingerprint locally, on the phone? People misplace their phone or have it stolen every day, posing huge liability to the actual owner. Before biometrics, losing a password was a threat, but now Apple has made it possible to steal someone’s fingerprint!
Apple needs to take a look at what MinuteHound has been doing for many years, which is encrypting a finger and/or thumb print and using cloud based software for storage. For example, one part of MinuteHound’s secure, patented technology is that every time a user scans his or her print, that fingerprint is immediately broken down and transferred to multiple cloud locations using 128-bit encryption. The print is never stored, but instead converted into a binary number. This means if someone stole the scanner or computer no sensitive data would be lost. Even if a hacker accessed one of the servers, all they would find is a bunch of numbers not identifiable to them. MinuteHound’s biometric software poses no information risk at all. It is completely safe to use.
Apple has been using cloud technology for a long time, and it is very interesting why they could not find a way to incorporate secure biometric technology, such as MinuteHound’s, with their latest release. Maybe they are waiting for their next iPhone… In the meantime MinuteHound will continue perfecting biometric identification technology while keeping vital information private and secure. MinuteHound’s users sleep well without the worry of hackers obtaining a copy of their fingerprint–When will iPhone users enjoy the same?
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