Senator Raises Concern That The FBI Could Access iPhone Fingerprint Data

fingerThose who find Apple’s new fingerprint reader disturbing apparently include members of Congress. Ars Technica reports:

On Thursday, the Minnesota senator Al Franken, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law, published a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook.

“Passwords are secret and dynamic; fingerprints are public and permanent,” wrote Sen. Franken. “If someone hacks your password, you can change it—as many times as you want. You can’t change your fingerprints. And you leave them on everything you touch; they are definitely not a secret. What’s more, a password doesn’t uniquely identify its owner—a fingerprint does.”

He also has specific questions for Cupertino:

Is it possible to convert locally stored fingerprint data into a digital or visual format that can be used by third parties?

Is it possible to extract and obtain fingerprint data from an iPhone? If so, can this be done remotely, or with physical access to the device?…

Under American intelligence law, the FBI can seek an order requiring the production of “any tangible thing (including books, records, papers, documents, and other items)” if they are deemed relevant to certain foreign intelligence investigations. Does Apple consider fingerprint data to be “tangible things” as defined in the USA Patriot Act?



3 Comments on "Senator Raises Concern That The FBI Could Access iPhone Fingerprint Data"

  1. InfvoCuernos | Sep 25, 2013 at 6:40 pm |

    I think the real concern that all this fingerprint crap raises is how much information does apple-or any other tech company- share with the government. They have already shown to have zero integrity when it comes to upholding their customers’ privacy, and they have been proven to have written “backdoors” into their products so that the govt. can access your devices without consent. At this point we should all be aware that your phone is an extension of the govt. in your pocket and should be treated as a listening device and tracker. Does it really matter if you use a password, or a fingerprint or you have to lick it? They will break the law and violate the constitution at their whim and your sufferance to achieve their ends and make you pay for it on a monthly contract. Can I get that in gold if I stand in line all night? Please?

  2. I’m not concerned about the FBI getting my fingerprint, since that’s easy enough for them to get as it is. My concern is more that fingerprints are a dumbass way to protect data to begin with.

  3. Him Fifteenism | Sep 26, 2013 at 10:08 am |

    what about the fact that you can’t take the battery out? this is alarming as well

Comments are closed.