Phone acts as its own security guard

Chinese-made handset checks fingerprints

Mike Yamamoto Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Mike Yamamoto is an executive editor for CNET News.com.
Mike Yamamoto

Those of us who grew up in the Paleolithic period remember that scene at the opening of every Mission Impossible episode--the original TV show, not the movies--when the reel-to-reel tape self-destructs after conveying that week's orders. Ever since then, we've always been fascinated with gadgets that protect themselves independently.

There's a new phone out of China that doesn't self-destruct, but it does have a special feature that will prevent it from functioning if it falls into the wrong hands. Qiao Xing Mobile Communication's T100 has fingerprint recognition technology designed to ensure that thieves don't run up huge bills calling Madagascar.

It's not the first mobile handset to scan fingerprints, but it's supposedly the first in China. And given the size of that growing market, it could prove to be a significant factor in advancing biometric security for everyday products. Whether we choose to accept their missions or not.