iPhone 5S Fingerprint Scanner: Would It Be Secure?


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iPhone is set to make a big announcement on September 10, and the Internet is abuzz with speculation. iOS7 is a given. Will we see a low-cost iPhone 5C in addition to a 5S? Will we be able to purchase iPhones in something other than the standard black and white - say, Champagne and Graphite?

One of the newest rumors, and one that's getting considerable buzz, is that the new phone will feature fingerprint scanning. Apple has remained silent on the issue, but Wall Street is taking the speculation seriously enough to adjust price-range estimates on Apple shares upward. Wells Fargo financial analyst Maynard Um was quoted in USA Today as saying that "Everyone is looking at what this new phone can do, and one of the key things is fingerprint authentication."

It's called biometric security and Apple acquired a company that specializes in it - AuthenTec - in 2012.

Security technologists and others in the field agree that fingerprint scanning on the iPhone would be a good thing overall. But according to Bruce Schneier in his opinion piece on Wired.com, the technology may not be as secure as it first sounds. Like most technology, it's not 100% reliable. Not only could it fail to keep unauthorized users out, but it could fail to let authorized users in. In Schneier's opinion, the latter scenario would actually be the least desirable.

As Schneier points out, "... if some bad guy has your iPhone and your fingerprint, you've probably got bigger problems to worry about."

According to Um, it's companies who will be most enthusiastic about fingerprint scanning capability on the new iPhone. "Enterprises want to know devices are in the right hands, and this pretty much guarantees it."

Will you be checking in on Apple's iPhone page to see the big announcement tomorrow morning?

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