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Memory stick turns fingerprints into passwords

Lexar's JumpDrive TouchGuard uses a sensor that reads the ridges on a finger and unlocks encrypted data if there's a match.

A new memory stick on sale next week turns fingerprints into passwords. Lexar Media's JumpDrive TouchGuard uses a sensor that reads the miniscule ridges on a finger, and unlocks the encrypted data on the USB (universal serial bus) memory stick if there's a match.

"It's going to be in Best Buy stores starting Monday," Christopher Crump, a project manager at Cogent Systems, said Thursday. Cogent wrote the software. Fujitsu makes the finger-scanning chip for the TouchGuard stick, which was demonstrated at a technology conference this week. Sony already sells a similar product called Micro Vault.