Hands Up: Review of the iPhone 5s Fingerprint Sensor

iPhone 5s Finger Print Sensor

Fingerprint technology has long abandoned its futuristic-tech throne as a detectives-only identification tool and is now the standard in the new fifth generation of Apple iPhone. Since the innovation of the Touch ID software, iPhone owners are able to scan their deep skin fingerprint in order to register their phone, and thereafter simply swipe their same finger to prove their identity and login to the mobile’s home screen. Of the generation 5 phones, only the 5s has the fingerprinting ID feature, while the less expensive, and therefore less sophisticated 5c, contains only the old number passcode to enter the device. Have a look at the various phone deals available to see which would best suit your usage.

It only takes about 5 minutes to train the iPhone to recognize your sub-epidermal fingerprint. The Apple-acquired AuthenTec technology uses three basic groups of algorithms with a 500 PPI scan resolution, which is 30% more accurate than prior devices of the same caliber. All in all, while the accuracy rateis closer to 95% than 100%, the Touch ID is a simple, painless and modern line of first defense against intruders to your mobile phone. The system is ideal for average and moderate business users, but not a foolproof idea if your corporate account information is stored on your phone and desirable by somebody with the motivation to access it.

Apple’s angleis that there is no better password in the world than your own fingerprint. It’s always with you, it is nearly impossible to lose, there’s only one of it, and it’s absolutely unique. The more we store our personal and private data on our mobile phones, the more this calls for the industry to take protection into account. This is exactly what the iPhone 5s market is hoping for – to tempt those business professionals or heavy smartphone users to swathe their information with the ultimate in security: fingerprint-only entry.

But just how secure is this so-called impenetrable login method, anyway? Surely not so simple that a cat could access the iPhone with a mere swipe of its paw, you say? One unbelievable user tested his colleague’s hypothesis that a cat’s paw would work just exactly like a human fingerprint on the sensor, and proved it correct. Evidently, other body parts, such as the heel of the hand and the forearm also work to register and unlock the iPhone. So it is not so much about the fingerprint itself, but the unique part of the body that you use as your “password”.

The Chaos Computer Club also ran tests on the fingerprint sensor to determine just how unhackable it really was, and found that with a little ingenuity, the persistent spy or frenzied lover would be able to break through the security measure and into your phone. But how many determined breakers-in are going to go to the trouble to photograph your fingerprint and rebuild a fake skin? Not many. Therefore, it seems that your data is safe, to a point. The average credit card thief or nosy girlfriend might not be able to scam their way through the fingerprint ID, but the clever and crafty professional hacker would find it fairly simple.

Ultimately, there’s only one guarantee that the data you choose to store on your phone is secure from the prying fingers of hackers, white collar criminals, and identity thieves – locking it in a drawer and never turning on the WIFI. Normal smartphone use necessarily entails a little risk, but with the fingerprint sensor your danger of having nosy eyes on your precious information is drastically lessened. The technology is far from perfect, as this phone is the first model that has come out to the mass market making print entry available. But with upgrades to come, user feedback, and a few important tweaks, your fingerprint may become the only password you will ever need to carry around with you. And everyone, forgetful or not, is likely to be thankful for that convenience.

Vivid Times

This article is written by Vivid Time Staff member.