Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
  1. Amazon Dash Smart Shelf
    15:16 Deals

    I’m obsessed with this Amazon gadget you’ve never heard of – and it&#821…

  2. Prime Day Nest Thermostat Deal
    16:28 Deals

    The newest Nest Thermostat rarely goes on sale, but it’s $99.98 for Prime Day

  3. Prime Day Deals 2021
    04:05 Deals

    Prime Day deals 2021: See hundreds of Amazon’s best deals right here

  4. Best Prime Day Deals Under $50
    17:46 Deals

    26 of the absolute best Prime Day deals under $50

  5. Amazon Deals
    07:59 Deals

    10 deals you don’t want to miss on Sunday: Free $25 Amazon credit, $230 Windows 10 l…




Here’s how Apple’s iPhone 5s fingerprint scanner might incriminate you

September 13th, 2013 at 11:50 AM
iPhone 5s Touch ID

Considering the nationwide panic regarding security and privacy, both offline and online, Apple’s new Touch ID system was met with some cynicism. Where is the fingerprint data going to be stored? What happens if someone obtains the data? Would a criminal be willing to remove my finger in order to access my contact list? Some concerns were admittedly a bit more hypothetical than others, but Marcia Hofmann’s piece on Wired brings up a legal situation which is far more likely to cause problems for an iPhone owner than the theoretical digit thief.

The Fifth Amendment provides the right against self-incrimination in a court of law. A judge may not require the defendant to incriminate him or herself with any information that is testimonial, or as Hofmann puts it, “reveals the contents of your mind.” That would include, say, the four-digit code to unlock your iPhone 5, but if access to your iPhone 5s depends on your fingerprint, that could be seen as physical evidence.

Hofmann provides a classic example that illustrates a similar case.

“Take this hypothetical example coined by the Supreme Court: If the police demand that you give them the key to a lockbox that happens to contain incriminating evidence, turning over the key wouldn’t be testimonial if it’s just a physical act that doesn’t reveal anything you know,” Hoffman wrote. “However, if the police try to force you to divulge the combination to a wall safe, your response would reveal the contents of your mind — and so would implicate the Fifth Amendment.”

The switch from “knowledge based authentication” to biometric authentication is certainly an exciting one, but it’s worth keeping in mind the potential consequences when you unlock your phone with your thumb instead of a password.

Jacob started covering video games and technology in college as a hobby, but it quickly became clear to him that this was what he wanted to do for a living. He currently resides in New York writing for BGR. His previously published work can be found on TechHive, VentureBeat and Game Rant.




Popular News