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Can the iPhone Popularize Fingerprint Readers?

timothy posted 1 year,19 days | from the when-will-new-jersey-require-smart-phone-technology? dept.

Iphone 356

Nerval's Lobster writes "Apple's iPhone 5S features a fingerprint scanner embedded in the home button. Of course, fingerprint-scanning technology isn't new: Bloomberg Terminals feature a built-in fingerprint reader to authenticate users, for example, and various manufacturers have experimented with laptops and smartphones that require a thumb to login. But the technology has thus far failed to become ubiquitous in the consumer realm, and it remains to be seen whether the new iPhone — which is all but guaranteed to sell millions of units — can popularize something that consumers don't seem to want. Security experts seem to be adopting a wait-and-see attitude with regard to Apple's newest trick. 'I'd caution right away, let's see how it tests and what people come up with to break it,' Brent Kennedy, an analyst with the U.S. Computer Emergency and Readiness Team, told Forbes. 'I wouldn't rely on it solely, just as I wouldn't with any new technology right off the bat.' And over at Wired, technologist Bruce Schneier is suggesting that biometric authentication could be hacked like anything else. 'I'm sure that someone with a good enough copy of your fingerprint and some rudimentary materials engineering capability — or maybe just a good enough printer — can authenticate his way into your iPhone,' he wrote. 'But, honestly, if some bad guy has your iPhone and your fingerprint, you've probably got bigger problems to worry about.'"

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To be honest (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44830211)

I very much dislike fingerprint readers. I find them to be hokey and just "feel" as if they are insecure. I would prefer they be used for two-factor authentication but, even then, I would prefer an SMS text or similar to the fingerprint scan.

Re:To be honest (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44830301)

Gee, now we have a nice fingerprint to user database.. and Apple didn't even have to try this time!

Re:To be honest (3, Insightful)

TWiTfan (2887093) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830715)

Well, it should come in handy when the Feds are investigating "terrorists."

Re:To be honest (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44830795)

Wait, did you just call iPhone users terrorists?

i can always wipe my phone remotely (3)

alen (225700) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830237)

very easy to remote wipe iphones

but if you have some super secret corporate info on your iphone you should be relying on a lot more than a consumer level fingerprint scanner for security

if someone has your iPhone..... (3, Funny)

phantomfive (622387) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830239)

If someone has your iPhone, they have your fingerprint.

Re:if someone has your iPhone..... (1, Funny)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830281)

that's extraordinarily true, considering how smudgy and oily my phone gets (i have a glandular thing)

Re:if someone has your iPhone..... (3)

daem0n1x (748565) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830603)

Try wiping your hands between eating a donut and using your phone.

Take it easy, just kidding...

Re:if someone has your iPhone..... (1)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830829)

Try wiping your hands between eating a donut and using your phone.

Take it easy, just kidding...

That's why god gave me two hands

Re:if someone has your iPhone..... (5, Informative)

macsimcon (682390) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830391)

The iPhone 5s doesn't store the fingerprint itself, it just stores specific data points. Apple states that the fingerprint data is stored a secure portion of the A7, and it never uploaded to iCloud, or stored on Apple's servers, and never leaves the iPhone itself.

Also, I'd be very surprised if the stored data isn't hashed.

Re:if someone has your iPhone..... (-1, Flamebait)

fustakrakich (1673220) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830469)

...never leaves the iPhone itself.

You trying to be funny?

Re:if someone has your iPhone..... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44830509)

The iPhone 5s doesn't store the fingerprint itself, it just stores specific data points. Apple states that the fingerprint data is stored a secure portion of the A7, and it never uploaded to iCloud, or stored on Apple's servers, and never leaves the iPhone itself.

Also, I'd be very surprised if the stored data isn't hashed.

It does tend to store the fingerprints of everyone who's touched it recently on the surface of the device.

Re:if someone has your iPhone..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44830525)

Unfortunately the screen and case are very good at storing your finger print.

Doesn't matter. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44830619)

The phone has the owners fingerprints all over it.

Re:if someone has your iPhone..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44830635)

I believe they were trying to point out that using a iphone will leave your fingerprint all over it

Re: if someone has your iPhone..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44830677)

It didn't say the data won't be uploaded to NSA servers though, or that NSA won't have direct/indirect access to the data stored in your A7 chip.

Re:if someone has your iPhone..... (1)

Minwee (522556) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830639)

Only if you hold your phone with only the tips of your fingers.

Re:if someone has your iPhone..... (1)

phantomfive (622387) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830765)

What, you type with your knuckles?

Re:if someone has your iPhone..... (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44830691)

However, it's much harder to go through the process of lifting a smudgy finger print on your screen, and creating a fake finger that's good enough to fool the sensor (which according to their announcement reads sub-epidermal skin layers), than it is to lean over someones shoulder and watch them type in their passcode.

Add to that that the device asks for your passcode at least once every 24 hours, and at least once every reboot, and I'd say it's a significant improvement to security.

While we're at it, the reason that apple will succeed here is because they're making something more convenient. You already have to push the home button to wake the device up, in some cases, that will now also be able to unlock the device. This is typically why Apple manages to get things into the consumer market where others have failed – because they actually think about the use case, and why it will be better for the user, rather than just "zomg, we put a scanner on it".

How do you change your fingerprints (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44830241)

if someone else has managed to work up a way to fake them for access?

Re:How do you change your fingerprints (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44830491)

Apple will sell new ones (in various vibrant colours) for £29.99.

Re:How do you change your fingerprints (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830515)

And they'll be cooler than your old ones.

Re:How do you change your fingerprints (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44830533)

Well, first you take a sand grinder...

Re:How do you change your fingerprints (1)

gmuslera (3436) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830757)

Maybe worse, what if for some accident (i.e. a small cut in the finger, a burn, etc) you change your own fingerprint? You are tying to be able to use your phone to unlock it with a specific finger of a specific hand.

Regarding others, you are leaving copies of what authentifies you on everything you touch. Probably won't be so hard to 3d print gloves with your fingerprint, or even 2d print the fingerprint and glue that print into your fingers/gloves if you want to go low tech.

Yes, Is just your phone, but, as it surely will be sold as a way to authentify that the person using it must be you, probably access with no password to apps, bank accounts, payments and so on will be enabled with no extra requirements.

Re:How do you change your fingerprints (1)

jameshofo (1454841) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830819)

Really good point, "well my fingerprint is compromised, time to have this one burned off"

NSA (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44830249)

And now the NSA will have a finger print database for all iphone users with minimum effort.

Re:NSA (1)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830293)

plus 1 accuracy

Re:NSA (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44830369)

To be fair, iPhone users don't deserve better.

Re:NSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44830417)

Exactly. I think that fingerprints are very insecure. Password, which is not physical is still the best for me. It is in my head and harder to get then fingerprint.

Re:NSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44830497)

And now the NSA will have a finger print database for all iphone users with minimum effort.

yeah, greeeeat, they have subset (this isn't a passport-level fingerprint, its a verification-hash) of a fraction (the iphone reader is too small for the entire print) of one finger of iDIOTS... It's not like customs already takes all ten fingers with a REAL reader...

Re:NSA (4, Insightful)

ColdWetDog (752185) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830705)

And now the NSA will have a finger print database for all iphone users with minimum effort.

Stop this. Stop it this very instant. The NSA (or any other nefarious creature / corporation / government entity / evil deity) is not interested in a user's fingerprint.

First, as has been mentioned ad nauseaum, you don't get a fingerprint - you get a hash of an output off a sensor that relates to a fingerprint.

Second, even if you could reconstruct the loops and whorls of the fingerprint then so what? You leave a veritable trail of fingerprints (and DNA and a host of other things we don't want to talk about here) everywhere you haul your ugly bit of meatspace around to. Nobody cares about a single fingerprint. The only valid concern is whether or not someone can take an existing copy of your fingerprint and gain access to the device. We shall see.

IF it works (big if) then it's a fine bit of biometrics to allow you to play Angry Birds. If you are carrying more sensitive information on your iPhone and you don't have it encrypted separately from phone access, sucks to be you.

Not every bit of security has to be able to foil three letter government agencies.

The NSA suuuuuuuure hopes so! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44830269)

But....but...but....it's saved locally on the phone and never gets uploaded to anyone!!!!!!!!!!!!1

Re:The NSA suuuuuuuure hopes so! (1, Offtopic)

Archangel Michael (180766) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830555)

And the NSA doesn't spy on Americans. "No Sir, we do not" - James Clapper

I don't believe our government is capable of telling the truth any longer. I don't believe the population, as a whole, is able to distinguish between truth and propaganda. And the surprising thing is, there is a large group of people who think government is the solution to the problems created by government.

Re:The NSA suuuuuuuure hopes so! (1)

TWiTfan (2887093) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830763)

I don't believe our government is capable of telling the truth any longer.

Oh, they're capable. They're just not *incentivized* in any way. When there's every reward for pulling off a lie, and no punishment for getting caught in one--are you going to tell the truth?

Re:The NSA suuuuuuuure hopes so! (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830643)

The NSA had my fingerprints for years... nothing bad happened yet.

Re:The NSA suuuuuuuure hopes so! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44830725)

... Fingerprints are taken of everybody who leaves and enters the US.

They already have fingerprints!

I have read this conspiracy about the NSA 10s of times since we first heard about the sensor, and somehow everyone is really worked up about it. Do you think the NSA has access to your Google data or all those pages Facebook tracks your visits to?

How does a fingerprint scanner on a phone change anything???

It they can access the fingerprint on the phone, they can access everything else on the phone as well, so what good is the fingerprint to them.

Re:The NSA suuuuuuuure hopes so! (1)

geoffrobinson (109879) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830737)

They can figure out who you without your fingerprint.

I'm gonna strike it rich (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830273)

I want to be the first to show how you can use the same old fingerprint reader defeating techniques on an iPhone. Internet fame, security researcher fortune, all will be mine! MUAHAHAHAHA!

Re:I'm gonna strike it rich (4, Funny)

Nidi62 (1525137) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830297)

I want to be the first to show how you can use the same old fingerprint reader defeating techniques on an iPhone.

Better make sure there's not already a patent on that

Re:I'm gonna strike it rich (1)

mcspoo (933106) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830425)

What, you're going to tell someone how to use silly putty and a water balloon?

Re:I'm gonna strike it rich (1, Troll)

djupedal (584558) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830575)

Does your old fp reader scan sub-epidermal layers @ 500 DPI like Apple's sensor as well?

Didn't think so.

Re:I'm gonna strike it rich (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830815)

I wonder if it could still be fooled with a 2D printout of a scan from a similar sensor? It's not a stereoscopic sensor is it?

iPhone + fingerprint? (3, Funny)

jonbryce (703250) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830287)

"But, honestly, if some bad guy has your iPhone and your fingerprint, you've probably got bigger problems to worry about."

Surely if they have your iPhone, they already have lots of copies of you fingerprints smeared all over it?

Re:iPhone + fingerprint? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44830439)

"smeared all over" is probably the problem there – at least with my touchscreens, I tend to leave inch-long smears that, while annoyingly visible, hardly leave anything that can be considered a proper fingerprint. Put it into a pocket and all you have is a thin film of whatever. Good if you need DNA, less if you want a fingerprint you can actually copy.

Will be interesting to see just hard fingerprint recovery will be for real-life scenarios.

Re:iPhone + fingerprint? (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830735)

"smeared all over" is probably the problem there – at least with my touchscreens, I tend to leave inch-long smears that, while annoyingly visible, hardly leave anything that can be considered a proper fingerprint. Put it into a pocket and all you have is a thin film of whatever. Good if you need DNA, less if you want a fingerprint you can actually copy.

Will be interesting to see just hard fingerprint recovery will be for real-life scenarios.

Take some fine powder and sprinkle it over a cell phone screen and back. You'll get a fingerprint or two. Remember, the nice, nonporous rest of the phone is a perfect place to pick up a print.

Re:iPhone + fingerprint? (4, Informative)

the computer guy nex (916959) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830501)

"But, honestly, if some bad guy has your iPhone and your fingerprint, you've probably got bigger problems to worry about."

Surely if they have your iPhone, they already have lots of copies of you fingerprints smeared all over it?

This technology doesn't use a fingerprint, it actually reads living tissue under the skin. The technology seems very similar because of how you use it (put your thumb here), however it is drastically different.

So no, your fingerprints on the screen won't work. They don't match the living tissue this reads.

Re:iPhone + fingerprint? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44830673)

How easy is it to collect fingerprints and add them to the already available database by (Not So American) NSA?
society will, willingly give it away.
already have voice signatures of every individuals from (digital phones and from voice search of GOOGLE), already have face recognition of every individual on every photo tagged and identified by the owners, willingly, no questions asked noooo worries.... now the fingerprints.. what is next? How can we collect DNA's by apps? OR what about IRIS scan by the camera on every phone ?.. that is a good solution to your security.. (ooops sorry whose security is that one?)

I don't trust it... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44830289)

This is just another method by which we are losing the privacy game.

Laptop fingerprint fad (1)

ZombieBraintrust (1685608) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830317)

Wasn't fingerprint readers a big fad with laptops a few years ago? Then there was the facial recognition fad?

Re:Laptop fingerprint fad (5, Insightful)

ModernGeek (601932) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830383)

I know it isn't always cool to support Apple, but I have to say that there are a lot of things that were just fads before they came in and did it right. Even if they didn't get it right, they normally did something to do it better, or to make it popular.

Look at how many mp3 players there were before the iPod...

Re:Laptop fingerprint fad (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44830685)

you mean before iTunes.

Re:Laptop fingerprint fad (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44830741)

I know it isn't always cool to support Apple, but I have to say that there are a lot of things that were just fads before they came in and did it right. Even if they didn't get it right, they normally did something to do it better, or to make it popular.

Apple's success with MP3 players doesn't even begin to
imply that some other idea as implemented by Apple is
also therefore a good idea OR that the idea will be well
received by users.

I don't want a fingerprint to allow access to my phone, because I know
that a fingerprint is trivially easy to fake.

Re:Laptop fingerprint fad (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44830429)

Yup, finger swiping over a sensor was an option to enter your password. Unfortunately Windows updates would break drivers and manufacturers would shirk their responsibility and pass the buck to the chipset company, who no longer supports whatever you have if it's not within 18 months old.

Re:Laptop fingerprint fad (1)

alen (225700) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830529)

yes, lots of these things are released, don't work right or the way people expect them to and then go away for a few years until some company puts in the work to make it work

Re:Laptop fingerprint fad (1)

jittles (1613415) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830535)

Yep. And those fingerprint scanners never worked for me. I could sit there and try and set it up, swiping my finger over and over for 20 minutes and it would never read properly.

Simple hack - use a 3D printer (1)

talexb (223672) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830319)

It seems this would be a simple job for a 3D printer -- 1) get the person's fingerprint; 2) print it out as a 3D object; 3) ??? 4) profit!!

Re:Simple hack - use a 3D printer (1)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830473)

It seems this would be a simple job for a 3D printer -- 1) get the person's fingerprint; 2) print it out as a 3D object; 3) ??? 4) profit!!

Except that wouldn't work because 1) 3D printers don't have sufficient resolution; 2) Most modern fingerprint scanners look for a pulse.

Re:Simple hack - use a 3D printer (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44830649)

Unless a 3D printer is capable of replicating sub dermal fingerprint details, which I highly, highly doubt they can, odds are this hack will not work. Apple's fingerprint scanner is not the same fingerprint scanners people are used to on laptops and the like.

Missing finger? (1)

gti_guy (875684) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830327)

How long until we start hearing stories about stolen iPhones along with stolen severed fingers?

Re:Missing finger? (1)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830375)

My keys keep flipping you off.

Re:Missing finger? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44830393)

most iphones are stolen to be wiped and resold, not for your data

no one gives a $h1t about you or your data

Re:Missing finger? (1)

Minwee (522556) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830667)

About minus eight years [bbc.co.uk] , so this has been going on since before there even was an iPhone.

Bad Guys (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44830335)

'But, honestly, if some bad guy has your iPhone and your fingerprint, you've probably got bigger problems to worry about.'

Do the police or similar authorities count as 'bad guys'? Because they definitely have the means to access to both your phone and your fingerprints, often without just cause.

Not so fast... (5, Informative)

macsimcon (682390) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830341)

The fingerprint reader in the iPhone 5s uses a capacitive sensor, not an optical one, so Schneier's proposed hack wouldn't work.

Also, Apple requires you to create a PIN code when you enable the fingerprint sensor. If it's been 48 hours since you used the fingerprint sensor to authenticate, you have to use the PIN instead. Likewise, if you've just restarted the iPhone, you have to use the PIN for your first authentication, you can't use the fingerprint sensor.

Re:Not so fast... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44830611)

This needs to be modded up. The iPhone 5S biometric auth is actually better than those in most laptops.

Re:Not so fast... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44830613)

Capacitive sensors can be hacked if you just have heat and a tiny bit of moisture. AKA, wax fingerprint copy, and you just lick it once.

Re:Not so fast... (3, Informative)

the computer guy nex (916959) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830657)

Capacitive sensors can be hacked if you just have heat and a tiny bit of moisture. AKA, wax fingerprint copy, and you just lick it once.

Yes, but not this one. This doesn't read your fingerprint, but rather tissue underneath the skin. Your wax copy of the outer skin won't work.

Re:Not so fast... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44830855)

I think the biggest problem is that in case the required information to access your account does get compromised it's not like you can simply change your fingerprints. At least with a password you can change it.

Re:Not so fast... (1)

dlt074 (548126) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830683)

Excellent! Drone targeting made simple! Target automatically double authenticates and confirms itself!! Missile uses device GPS to do the rest! I love technology!

Re:Not so fast... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44830823)

The fingerprint reader in the iPhone 5s uses a capacitive sensor, not an optical one,

Already been broken [slashdot.org]

Defeating fingerprint scanners (1)

wolfguru (913659) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830347)

HP Laptops with the fingerprint scanner, and kronos timeclocks with similar scanners can be defeated with two pieces of play-doh and 2 minutes careful molding. Make a finger impression in the first piece, fill it with the second, and allow it to dry a but before lifting the newly molded "finger". I am sure a better material for making the "finger" could easily be found, but this works well enough to defeat the biometrics on both of these devices so far.

Re:Defeating fingerprint scanners (2)

ColdWetDog (752185) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830785)

We've tried this on commercial grade fingerprint locks - even using medical grade silicon gel it doesn't work. I don't know the specifics of scanner, but at least ones that cost $1000 a pop can be hardened against this sort of thing.

But, honestly... (1)

neoshroom (324937) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830373)

It's not like any group has huge databases with large portions of the population's fingerprints anyway. Who would even want access to all the personal information kept on your phone?

Now, everyone calm down and go back to reading peaceful stories about how the NSA has hacked all internet cryptography.

"sub-epidermal skin layers" (4, Insightful)

Quila (201335) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830405)

We'll have to wait to find out exactly what they're referring to, but if implemented well this should be resistant to fingerprint lifting. Only the outer layers of your finger's skin touch objects. You'd have to have somebody else touch a sensor like this one and then try to recreate the capacitive map.

Re:"sub-epidermal skin layers" (1)

the computer guy nex (916959) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830571)

We'll have to wait to find out exactly what they're referring to, but if implemented well this should be resistant to fingerprint lifting. Only the outer layers of your finger's skin touch objects. You'd have to have somebody else touch a sensor like this one and then try to recreate the capacitive map.

You are correct, this is immune to fingerprint lifting. "Sub-epidermal skin layers" means it reads living tissue under the skin.

Re:"sub-epidermal skin layers" (1)

Electricity Likes Me (1098643) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830701)

It won't make a difference. It's reading your fingerprints, and your fingerprints aren't that clear to start with so it can't be too picky about correspondence. You're talking about microscopic differences on the matter but your fingerprints are huge structures relatively speaking and also the only reliably unique structure to look at there.

I mean I guess it defeats casual snooping, but so does my Android phone's pattern lock.

Re:"sub-epidermal skin layers" (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830717)

We'll have to wait to find out exactly what they're referring to, but if implemented well this should be resistant to current methods of fingerprint lifting.

FTFY; just give it time.

Didn't work with the Thinkpad (1)

jfdavis668 (1414919) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830435)

This was going to be the next big thing back when it came out on the Thinkpad. Never really took root.

Re:Didn't work with the Thinkpad (2)

Guspaz (556486) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830567)

The fingerprint readers in laptops work rather differently... and poorly. They're optical readers, and they work more like scanners in that they just capture a strip, and you have to swipe your finger over it. Having experienced fingerprint readers on a few different laptops, they don't work well (they're finicky and rarely want to read your fingers unless you swipe them just right).

Apple's approach is for a 2D sensor that doesn't use swiping. From the videos they've posted, it also seems to be much more willing to accept matches from different areas of the finger (so you don't have to position your finger very precisely). If it works as well as it is promised to, this would be a huge improvement over the fingerprint readers shipping in business laptops... but I'm still somewhat skeptical it will work as well as they claim. We'll see, I'm interested.

Can we kill these fingerprint rumors? (1, Insightful)

the computer guy nex (916959) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830443)

This technology reads the living tissue under the skin. You can't just take an outer-skin fingerprint from the screen and authenticate with it. You also can't "chop off someone's hand", as this reads living tissue under the skin.

Re:Can we kill these fingerprint rumors? (1)

macsimcon (682390) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830477)

I'd doubt it. Everyone just wants to wallow in their ignorance.

I already mentioned this several minutes ago!

uhmmm (1)

DFurno2003 (739807) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830489)

Did someone just imply that fingerprint scanners are a new technology? I was under the impression that it was not a secure technology and thus not used widely. Maybe new for Apple but I've got a couple old junk notebooks with fingerprint scanners here somewhere...

Re:uhmmm (2, Insightful)

the computer guy nex (916959) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830551)

Did someone just imply that fingerprint scanners are a new technology? I was under the impression that it was not a secure technology and thus not used widely. Maybe new for Apple but I've got a couple old junk notebooks with fingerprint scanners here somewhere...

Two big differences. 1) This reads living tissue under the skin, which is more secure than a simple fingerprint that can be found anywhere. 2) This is integrated into something you touch already, the home button. It doesn't add any additional steps for the user.

Another example of Apple taking an old idea and applying it in a very elegant fashion.

Re:uhmmm (0)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830787)

It doesn't add any additional steps for the user.

Except the additional step of entering a PIN if you haven't used the print reader in 2 days.

Another example of Apple taking an old idea and applying it in a very elegant fashion.

A) it's not an 'old idea;' tube-amplifiers are an old idea.

B) there's nothing all that elegant about utilizing the latest technology in your gadget. Sure, it's neat, and I look forward to the tech becoming widespread (and inevitably hacked), but calling it 'elegant' smacks of the Reality Distortion Field.

A ballet dancer's movements are elegant; putting modern tech in modern devices is par-for-the-course.

Forget security (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44830537)

Is it better to place your finger on the scanner or slide your finger across the screen?

It's easier to place your finger in the scanner. And if it's fast at reading the fingerprint then just that is awsome.

Wrong Question (3, Insightful)

lazarus (2879) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830543)

"But the technology has thus far failed to become ubiquitous in the consumer realm, and it remains to be seen whether the new iPhone — which is all but guaranteed to sell millions of units — can popularize something that consumers don't seem to want."

This is not how Apple thinks of design. Instead of asking people "Do you want a fingerprint scanner?" the question they ask themselves is "How do we make security easier if not completely transparent to the end user?" If you asked people if they wanted to be secure without having to do anything at all, your answer would be different. The fingerprint scanner just happens to be the right solution to the problem (in Apple's opinion).

Fingerprints? I don't think so (3, Funny)

Russ1642 (1087959) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830561)

Best Animaniacs adult humour: www.youtube.com/watch?v=1xmAC9Qu908

Progress! (1)

Baby Duck (176251) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830617)

Now people can access you iPhone when you are unconscious or dead.

Re:Progress! (1)

the computer guy nex (916959) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830637)

Now people can access you iPhone when you are unconscious or dead.

Unconscious? Yes. Dead? No. This reads living tissue under the skin. Can we stop with the "chopping off your hand" junk now?

Re:Progress! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44830743)

Depends, what's the timeframe during which one can use a severed hand?

Re:Progress! (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830797)

So, when a person becomes deceased (or an appendage is removed), every single cell in their body dies instantaneously?

Re:Progress! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44830833)

Their pulse stops. It's looking for a pulse.

No it can't (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44830633)

Because, you know, Apple does not innovate anymore, yadda yadda yadda...

affects purchases? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44830651)

I think the benefit of this is that it would prevent small children from buying stuff.... if the parent is smart enough to set up the finger print authentication before giving the phone to the kid.

Re:affects purchases? (1)

the computer guy nex (916959) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830703)

I think the benefit of this is that it would prevent small children from buying stuff.... if the parent is smart enough to set up the finger print authentication before giving the phone to the kid.

Yes, iTunes purchases can be configured to use the fingerprint.

if (substr(Headline,-1) eq '?') (1)

biodata (1981610) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830671)

{Answer = No;}

i-Devices = AIDS (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44830681)

So yeah, AIDS tends to spread.

The real concern .. the real fear .. (0)

tkjtkj (577219) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830721)

Many here seem to miss the point regarding consumer rejection of this technology. Giving your fingerprint to a company which, according to the latest news, could very well be cooperating with the NSA's privacy invading tactics would seem foolish, to say the least! If the print is in the phone, what is to stop Apple from cooperating or being ordered by a Court to send that data to the government? Open thine eyes, people .. Don't just read the news .. learn by it!

CERT/CC != US-CERT (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44830773)

They are different.

A fingerprint reader and still no Near Field- WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44830825)

One more headscratcher from Cupertino

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