Biometrics such as a fingerprint scanners require the user to the touch a fingerprint sensor and be identified in order to unlock the phone or perform other operations such as payments. In order for fingerprint scanners to work, they store information about your fingerprint someplace in the device.
I have used fingerprint scanners for two operations frequently, to unlock my phone (Motorola Atrix) and also be verified at my gym (24 Hour Fitness).
There are some important things users should understand about fingerprint technology.
I often have to scan my finger a numerous times to open the Motorola Atrix and to enter the gym. The main problem I have had with the Motorola Atrix is that I swipe the scanner too fast. The fingerprint scanner at the gym is clear glass and it works for me about 70% of the time.
In the early versions of FaceUnlock on Android it could be spoofed with a photograph of the user. It may be possible to spoof a fingerprint scanner.
Americans associate fingerprints with law enforcement and don’t like the idea of FBI databases and law enforcement connecting fingerprint data. Parents have objected to fingerprint readers for school lunch programs. And some states have passed laws against capturing fingerprint data of children under the age of 18.
Fngerprints are more difficult to obtain from people of Asian descent. It has been reported that the difficulty is due to less defined ridges in Asian hands, especially women. Banks in Japan use Vein Pattern Recognition (VPR) because of the fingerprint problem among Asian people.
Additionally, between 2 percent and 5 percent of the general population has some physical limitation in regard to using fingerprint imaging technology. Doctors, who wash their hands frequently, hair dressers who work with hair chemicals and others who work in trades that require frequent hand-washing can have fingerprint erosion.
I believe that my frequent pool use may have cut down on my fingerprint accuracy. I usually have to swipe the sensor three to four times. When I used the phone, recently to give demonstration with the phone for music. My hands were sweaty and it took a few passes to unlock the phone. The Motorola Atrix has a capacitive fingerprint scanner.
Fingertips also can easily become dirty, oily or cut, and dirt and oil tend to obscure finger images. Fingerprints also can be lifted and copied from glass.
Athough the Authentec website no longer exists, the support pages are still there. If the iPhone 5S has a swipe scanner it will be more difficult to use. An area scanner is easier to use. The scanner used at the gym is an area scanner.
Leaked photos of the HTC One Mas show the scanner on the back below the camera lens. Our guess it that is a area scanner because of its position. The Motorola Atrix scanner in on the top for a swipe action.There have been leaks of the iPhone 5S cases and the back side is pure Apple, there is only a larger hole for the dual-LED Flash. Most rumors center around the fingerprint scanner on the iPhone 5 on the home button. Do you tap the home button or swipe it? Or do you hold it down with your finger? These details have not been revealed.
Correct scan procedure for the swipe sensor:
• Position the last knuckle joint over the center of the sensor.
• Lay your finger flat on the sensor.
• Do not lift your finger as you swipe over the sensor.
• Do not swing your finger sideways at the end of the movement.
Correct scan procedure for the area sensor:
• Position the center of your fingerprint in the middle of the sensor.
• Lay your finger flat on the sensor with moderate pressure.
• Keep your finger on the sensor until you see a sensor feedback.
Both methods keep a record of your finger prints. Here's we criminals can be diabolical.
If someone steals your keys, you can change your locks. However if someone figures out a way to duplicate your fingerprint, you can't change it. There are ways to fake fingerprint devices uses a fingercasts and gelatin or other methods.
Hackers have found ways to break into iPhones, before. Once they steal your fingerprint and commit a crime. You're in big trouble.
Right now, if a criminal stole my phone with fingerprint information. I can use Android wipe to find it and wipe. iPhone iOS 7 have similar features. But what if the person doesn't realize the iPhone has been stolen?
Yes, it will take a more sophisticated thief to unlock an iPhone with fingerprint scanner. However, the really dastardly thieves can do some real damage to your identity and reputation.