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Google restricts third-party apps from distinguishing between different fingerprints in Android 6.0

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Google restricts third-party apps from distinguishing between different fingerprints in Android 6.0

Google has up to date their Android Compatibility Definition document which lays out a few floor regulations for OEMs who come with sure safety-delicate hardware and tool options. One of the ones pieces is the fingerprint scanner, which in any case will get authentic enhance in Android as of Android 6.0 Marshmallow.


The record touches on all of the same old issues, corresponding to requiring OEMs to make use of Android’s new devoted fingerprint scanner APIs, dictating the extent of accuracy and tests wanted to make sure fingerprints, and extra. But one fascinating little tidbit — bolded at the listing under — stood out:

7.3.10. Fingerprint Sensor
Device implementations with a safe lock display SHOULD come with a fingerprint sensor. If a tool implementation features a fingerprint sensor and has a corresponding API for third-party developers, it:

  • MUST claim improve for the android.hardware.fingerprint function.
  • MUST absolutely put in force the corresponding API as defined in the Android SDK documentation [Resources, 95].
  • MUST have a fake reputation price now not upper than 0.002%.
  • Is STRONGLY RECOMMENDED to have a fake rejection fee now not upper than 10%, and a latency from while the fingerprint sensor is touched till the monitor is unlocked beneath 1 2d, for 1 enrolled finger.
  • MUST fee restrict makes an attempt for no less than 30 seconds after 5 fake trials for fingerprint verification.
  • MUST have a hardware-subsidized keystore implementation, and carry out the fingerprint matching in a Trusted Execution Environment (TEE) or on a chip with a safe channel to the TEE.
  • MUST have all identifiable fingerprint knowledge encrypted and cryptographically authenticated such that they can't be got, learn or altered out of doors of the Trusted Execution Environment (TEE) as documented in the implementation tips at the Android Open Source Project web site [Resources, 96].
  • MUST save you including a fingerprint with out first setting up a sequence of accept as true with through having the consumer make sure present or upload a brand new software credential (PIN/trend/password) the use of the TEE as carried out in the Android Open Source undertaking.
  • MUST NOT allow third-birthday celebration programs to differentiate between person fingerprints.
  • MUST honor the DevicePolicyManager.KEYGUARD_DISABLE_FINGERPRINT flag.
  • MUST, while upgraded from a model in advance than Android 6.0, have the fingerprint knowledge securely migrated to satisfy the above necessities or got rid of.
  • SHOULD use the Android Fingerprint icon supplied in the Android Open Source Project.

Why is that necessary? Well, it way it gained’t be imaginable for third-party apps to do cool stuff. Consider one thing like Tasker — what if there used to be a plugin that permits you to release an app or do particular movements while the use of a selected finger? S may just mechanically open my financial institution app with my proper index finger, and shop my left center finger for Twitter, as an example. That’d be cool.

But Google gained’t permit it. There could also be a heap of excellent purposes to not — most likely there are possible safety problems which they haven’t but found out or have been not able to put in force in this preliminary API — nevertheless it’s disappointing however.

That stated, relying on their definition of “third birthday party apps,” OEMs would possibly nonetheless be capable of upload those options themselves. We’ll have to peer if any of the impending smartphones with a fingerprint scanner and Android 6.0 Marshmallow will glance to enforce anything else fascinating. Otherwise, search for it to be a easy authentication way and little extra for the foreseeable long run.


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