As you all know by now, the iPhone 5s comes with a fingerprint scanner on the home button. Apple calls it the Touch ID sensor and you can use it to unlock your phone, make app purchases and more. The days of the Passcode have gone, or has it? Turns out, that there’s more to the Touch ID sensor than what Apple told us at its event.
There were a lot of questions that went unanswered, for example, what happens if hackers get access to your fingerprint? Is it really a good idea to store your fingerprint on your phone? Well, an Apple spokesperson has given more details to the Wall Street Journal regarding these privacy issues and what exactly happens when you place your finger on the scanner.
According to the spokesperson, the scanner doesn’t actually store your fingerprint image, instead it collects the fingerprint data. This data is then encrypted and stored on the A7 chip, which makes it very secure. Even if someone manages to crack the iPhone’s chip, they wouldn’t be able to use the data to create an actual fingerprint.
Moreover, a passcode must also be created as a backup to use Touch ID. Also, if you don’t unlock the phone in 48 hours, the stored Touch ID fingerprint data will be erased. Same happens in the case of a reboot, this is where the passcode comes in useful. The spokesperson also noted that the sensor doesn’t work well with wet fingers and those that have improper prints. You can, however, use other fingers. Here’s a video of Apple explaining how the Touch ID sensor works:
Apple isn’t the first to use a fingerprint scanner, but they did make it simpler and safer. What are your thoughts on the Touch ID sensor? Any privacy concerns? Let us know in the comments.