IPhone 5S: No More Pleading the Fifth?
While some observers hailed Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) new Touch ID fingerprint scanner as a secure and convenient authentication system, others raised privacy concerns about a mobile device that reads and stores people’s fingerprints. Apple moved quickly to allay those concerns by pointing out that images of users’ fingerprints will be in an encrypted form and will only be stored in a secure sub-section of the A7 chip.
However, a new report from Wired’s Marcia Hofmann notes that there are also legal ramifications to Apple’s fingerprint scanner. She points out that a biometric authentication system may actually weaken users’ Fifth Amendment protection.
One of the protections guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment is that, “No person shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself.” Hofmann notes that this protection extends to “memory-based passwords and PINs” that are typically used secure mobile devices.