Al Franken, the chairman of the US Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law, had just recently contacted Apple’s Tim Cook to explain his security concerns. The specific root of the senator’s letter is about iPhone5S’ fingerprint sensor technology. Apple did not release any comments yet about the said letter but we can expect that they will have to answer it in the future after a short time.
First of all, experts have agreed that it is possible to steal someone’s fingerprint. What iPhone 5S promoted in developing biometric options as a new security measure of their new mobile phone is that stealing a fingerprint should be harder than decoding four-digit PINs. For a long time, four-digit PINs and passwords are the way of life when it comes to protecting certain types of information. The risk about this practice is that it can always be hacked and accounts can always be taken over. But when iPhone 5S was unveiled, Apple found a way to innovate a new security exercise that may even start a new trend in technology.
On a related note, Senator Franken’s concern is that if someone’s thumb print is stolen, identity thieves or hackers can impersonate them for the rest of their lives. This may lead to an escalating number of criminal affairs and activities of hackers all over the world. We all know how serious these things could get both on the micro and macro level.
Specifically, the mentioned senator asked these specific questions to Apple in the hope that the company will answer him.
- Can the encrypted form of the fingerprint data stored on the mobile phone be stolen and converted into a digital type which hackers can easily use?
- Does iPhone 5S transmit diagnostic information from the Touch ID to Apple or any third party system?
- How exactly does Apple protect the fingerprint data of its customers and keep it private?
- What is the general legal status of the new fingerprint sensor technology?
Meanwhile, Senator Franken requested that these four questions are answered at least a month after Apple received the letter.
On the other hand, while this issue is being taken into account, hackers everywhere are trying to crack Apple’s fingerprint sensor technology. There are even websites which offer rewards – which includes $10,000 capital, for instance – to the first ever person who can create a hacking method which can repeatedly crack open the new iPhone 5S. Lifting prints from bottles or mugs are even encouraged.