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Senator asks if FBI can get iPhone 5S fingerprint data via Patriot Act

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“You can’t change your fingerprints. You have only ten of them.”

Cyrus Farivar
Ars Technica
Sept 20, 2013

Since Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) arrived in the United States Senate, he’s become the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law. He’s made it his mission toraise questions about tech issues that he feels are improper, unjust, or just downright questionable.

The debut of the new iPhones 5S, replete with a fingerprint reader, has now also gotten Franken’s attention. On Thursday, the Minnesota senator published a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook, raising questions about the logic in making fingerprint readers more mainstream.

“Passwords are secret and dynamic; fingerprints are public and permanent,” wrote Sen. Franken. “If you don’t tell anyone your password, no one will know what it is. If someone hacks your password, you can change it—as many times as you want. You can’t change your fingerprints. You have only ten of them. And you leave them on everything you touch; they are definitely not a secret. What’s more, a password doesn’t uniquely identify its owner—a fingerprint does. Let me put it this way: if hackers get a hold of your thumbprint, they could use it to identify and impersonate you for the rest of your life.”

He’s certainly not the only one that has questions: a number of people have put in over $16,000 in bounty money, booze, and a “dirty sex book” as an incentive for hackers to break Touch ID.

Full story here.

This article was posted: Friday, September 20, 2013 at 11:52 am





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