Apple’s use of fingerprint scanning in its new iPhone models could lead more device makers to adopt the authentication method as a successor to passwords - - and that’s fine with privacy advocates.That latter quote is rather funny, as governments and corporations routinely deny that they are building vast databases on us as they build vast databases on us. Wired is a bit more circumspect:
The introduction coincides with the rise of cybercrime and revelations that the U.S. National Security Agency has intercepted Internet communications and cracked encryption codes on devices including the iPhone.
Apple said that on the new iPhone, information about the fingerprint is stored on the device and not uploaded to company networks -- meaning it wouldn’t be in data batches that may be sent to or collected by U.S. intelligence agencies under court orders.
“They’re not building some vast biometric database with your identity associated with your fingerprint that the NSA could then get access to,” Joseph Lorenzo Hall . . . .
There’s a lot of talk around biometric authentication since Apple introduced its newest iPhone, which will let users unlock their device with a fingerprint. Given Apple’s industry-leading position, it’s probably not a far stretch to expect this kind of authentication to take off. Some even argue that Apple’s move is a death knell for authenticators based on what a user knows (like passwords and PIN numbers).
While there’s a great deal of discussion around the pros and cons of fingerprint authentication — from the hackability of the technique to the reliability of readers — no one’s focusing on the legal effects of moving from PINs to fingerprints.
Because the constitutional protection of the Fifth Amendment, which guarantees that “no person shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself,” may not apply when it comes to biometric-based fingerprints . . .