Don't worry, your severed fingers won't unlock your iPhone 5S

Panic ensues when Apple announces its fingerprint scanner. However, a closer reading suggests that finger-chopping might not be so worthwhile for thieves.

Fingers crossed. Apple

I've been going through Apple's App Store in search of new products.

I've been looking for specially designed needles, thread for stitching, and possibly fingernails.

You see, some people have been worrying that with the new Touch ID, a biometric fingerprint sensor built into the iPhone 5S, they will have their fingers cut off. And, well, you know, business is business.

Still, there was no sign of such accessories in the App Store. And there may be less cause for concern than first entered people's suspicious heads.

I am grateful to Fast Company's CoLabs for attempting to soothe furrowed brows and tightly clenched fists.

It explains that Apple's scanner doesn't work by optics. Rather, Apple's new system probes beneath the layer of you skin to see the real live action beneath.

So the sensor is looking for something that has slightly more alive characteristics than, you know, a severed finger.

However, because those with devious minds tend to have a lot of time on their fingers to be devious, there might be all sorts of ruses that will arise in order to break into a fingerprint-locked iPhone 5S.

Fast Company posits the idea of whether one might try and imprint a fingerprint on a piece of red meat, or perhaps molding a fingerprint in ballistic gel.

But iPhone thieves generally work on the principle of fast and furious. Will they really bother with vast technological setups in order to make a few hundred dollars?

Will they really try and recreate the live prints of severed fingers? The whole thing sounds like an especially gruesome movie starring John Malkovich.

It is, indeed, possible that Apple's fingerprint scanner is a genuine upgrade in phone security.

There's still, though, something slightly uncomfortable about one's fingerprint being recorded in yet another database somewhere.

One great problem, as exemplified by German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schauble a few years ago, is that once your fingerprint has been copied, you can't get new ones.

If there's one thing that society has learned over the last few years, it's that the more you put yourself out there, the more your information can be used to ends that you might never have imagined.

 

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