No, There is NO Fingerprint Database Lurking Behind Apple's Touch ID for the NSA!

By Tony Rizzo September 27, 2013

It's amazing sometimes how a headline - even one that happens to come from a site focused on satire - can cause all sorts of idiocy to emerge amongst the "Sophisticates of the Technorati." By the way, that is a book title and idea for a novel we happen to have cooking, but heck, it fits here as well. We realize it could also easily serve as an episode title for “Game of Thrones.” In any case, yes, a satire site that shall remain nameless posted just such a thing.

Fortunately, The Guardian has already done a fine job of debunking the notion that Apple would have a fingerprint database somehow emerge from gathering up all of those scanned fingerprints by way of the iPhone 5s. The entire idea is incredibly silly, which the satire site no doubt would agree with - why else would one run such a thing as satire?

But of course satire has a way of sometimes becoming circumvented when it is taken out of context and one sees follow-up headlines emerge that might even hint at such a thing. And of course, citing the satire as one's source is even funnier in its way and says a great deal about some of those sophisticates. Enough said on that.


Image via ZDNet

We write only to go on record as making it clear that Apple's methods for scanning, encrypting and storing the iPhone 5s user's fingerprints cannot be tracked, cannot be secretly offloaded and stored by Apple offline (technically it can be done but it would be true corporate suicide for Apple and will never happen), and cannot be reverse engineered to somehow gain access to one's fingerprint by hacking a user's iPhone 5s, digging out where on the A7 the encrypted fingerprint information is hiding, and cannot be reverse engineered to reveal one's fingerprint as it was originally scanned.

It is worth noting as an aside that earlier this week Apple issued an update to iOS 7 for iPhone 5s users, iOS v7.0.1, that solved an issue that was preventing iTunes from using the fingerprint information to make purchases - it was not an update to add secret NSA code! Apple has also now issued a general update, iOS 7 v7.0.2, that fixes the screen lock problem some hackers have identified that allows access to certain apps without need of unlocking the phone - it is now available and all users should update.

So, everyone take a deep breath and let's move on from the NSA silliness. The Guardian post is well worth reading and well-detailed in any case - there is no need for us to dig deeper into why your fingerprint scans are safe and secure.

Scan away, iPhone 5s users!




Edited by Alisen Downey

TechZone360 Senior Editor

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