The Apple firm has just filed a patent aiming to use the Touch ID sensor to recover the fingerprints of a person who has stolen an iPhone. This data will then be sent to the owners of the smartphone, or to the police!
In the future, there will surely be more risk of stealing an iPhone (or an iPad), simply because the latter could, in the near future, collect various information on the malicious person. This novelty was the subject of a recent patent filed by Apple in the United States, officially relating to the « biometric capture for the identification of an unused user ». Thus, fingerprints can be recovered without the knowledge of the thug, as well as videos, photos and sound recordings.
This information should then be transmitted to a server and will be made available to owners and law enforcement, who will have the ability to compare it on a database. This device will complement another service, although not automatic, which can fight against theft. This is the « locate » service allowing geolocation of the iPhone. Through this, it is also possible to make it ring, block it or completely erase it.
Apple’s newly-patented device shouldn’t cause any problems with obtaining photos, videos and sounds, but it wouldn’t really be the case when it comes to fingerprints. The recovery of these will probably be done with the Touch ID sensor, currently programmed to read a fingerprint without it being able to leave the iPhone. Thus, such an “anti-theft” would embody an exception to this principle, which some will consider as a security flaw.
The arrival of such a measure therefore appears not very obvious, but we know that under the guise of security, the consumer is capable of accepting many things.
Sources: Numerama – 01net