Nishtha KanalSep 12, 2013 09:11:02 IST
As Apple unveiled the much awaited new iPhone 5S on Tuesday, the one feature that held everyone’s attention was the fingerprint scanning system of the phone, also known as Touch ID. We live in dangerous times, though, and a system that worked on fingerprints has had everyone cynical and worried about their safety and privacy.
To allay fears about privacy, Apple has revealed more information about how the fingerprint scanning system is supposed to work with the iPhone 5S. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, an Apple spokesperson has clarified, that first and foremost, the iPhone 5S will not actually store the fingerprint impression of the user.
Not flawless but safe
Instead, the phone will keep just the “fingerprint data” which will remain encrypted within the iPhone’s processor. The phone will use the digital signature to unlock and make purchases in iTunes, iBooks and the App Store. To add some extra bit of security measures, Apple has said that in order to use Touch ID, a user also has to create a passcode as backup. In case of a reboot or the phone not being unlocked for 48 hours, it will be necessary for the user to punch in the passcode instead of using their fingerprint to unlock the device. This measure will ensure that block hackers don’t stall enough to find a way to circumvent the scanner.
In case someone tries to crack an iPhone’s encrypted chip too, they might not be able to reverse engineer the owner’s fingerprint. Apple seems to be putting safety first with its fingerprint sensor. The Cupertino based company seems to be reluctant to take risks with the new system and hence has disallowed any third-party applications to make use of this scanner.
Apple has also admitted that while its fingerprint scanner is far more superior to most available on electronic devices like laptops currently, it isn’t exactly perfect and is still susceptible to failure. Particularly, Apple’s fingerprint scanner will have trouble with moist fingers or sweaty ones. The report also seems to suggest a slight issue with fingers scarred from accidents, even though Apple says this issue can be solved by picking a different finger instead.
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