Reading – Stealing Fingerprints

fingerprint photo
Image by CPOA

“Fingerprints are another type of data entirely. They’re used to identify people at crime scenes, but increasingly they’re used as an authentication credential. If you have an iPhone, for example, you probably use your fingerprint to unlock your phone. This type of authentication is increasingly common, replacing a password — something you know — with a biometric: something you are. The problem with biometrics is that they can’t be replaced. So while it’s easy to update your password or get a new credit card number, you can’t get a new finger.And now, for the rest of their lives, 5.6 million US government employees need to remember that someone, somewhere, has their fingerprints. And we really don’t know the future value of this data. If, in twenty years, we routinely use our fingerprints at ATM machines, that fingerprint database will become very profitable to criminals. If fingerprints start being used on our computers to authorize our access to files and data, that database will become very profitable to spies.”

This is bad, and really we have to question the government for storing all that fingerprint data in one central location. This is the main problem for those of you who think you have nothing to hide and the government can collect whatever data they want. When they don’t protect it properly, now some bad actor has a copy of personal information and potentially a fingerprint to go along with it. That opens the doors to a lot of things we normally assume as being secure. It also opens the door to that data being planted in various places as well. Who wants to have to worry about that?

Stealing Fingerprints

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