Delving Deeper Into Apple’s Touch ID Security Enhancement

Jaycee De Guzman September 12, 2013 0
Delving Deeper Into Apple’s Touch ID Security Enhancement


All eyes and ears were on Apple again because of the recent launching of their new iPhone models and iOS 7 release. Their new security feature definitely got the attention of the public and a lot of potential iPhone 5s buyers. The use of fingerprint sensor for mobile device security is such a landmark feature for Apple. The company also recently revealed more details about their new security enhancement.

Fingerprint Data Exclusive to Phone Processor Only

According to a statement released by Apple today, their Touch ID feature will scan the user’s fingerprint data and store it to the phone’s chip instead of taking images of the actual user fingerprints. The Apple statement also denied speculations that fingerprint data or images will be uploaded to the Apple server or iCloud, saying that the data will be exclusively stored only on the iPhone processor. Fingerprint data collected will then be translated into a form of digital signature which will enable the user to unlock the iPhone and authorize purchase transactions on the App store. The Touch ID sensor will be the only one authorized to access fingerprint data stored on the new A7 chip of iPhone 5s. According to Apple Senior VP Dan Riccio, the fingerprint data will be available to any software aside from the Touch ID sensor.

Delving Deeper Into Apple’s Touch ID Security Enhancement


Fingerprint Data Exclusivity May Be Positive or Negative

Some tech developers see a negative effect that the exclusive Touch ID sensor access to fingerprint data will cause some limits to developers. According to them, the lack of access for developers will limit the potential of Touch ID sensor for enterprise consumers. However, Apple also stressed the importance of their access limitations in order to prevent data stealing and misuse. Limiting the access to the Touch ID sensor will definitely eliminate any weakness that hackers can exploit to steal data and content from the iPhone.

Some Fingerprint Sensor’s Issues and Weaknesses

While Apple was greatly applauded for the inclusion of Touch ID feature, some also found flaws of the newly introduced iPhone security enhancement. The Touch ID sensor is weak when it comes to scanning fingers with lotion, sweat and other liquids. Their statement also included that the sensors are having some troubles in reading fingers with scars due to surgery and accidents. However, a passcode back-up can also be created in order to unlock the device in case it has been rebooted or wasn’t unlocked for two days.

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