Is Apple’s iPhone 5S NSA-Proof?
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) recently unveiled a fingerprint-enabled authentication system as a major feature of its new iPhone 5S. Although some industry watchers have raised privacy concerns about Apple’s new Touch ID fingerprint scanner, others point out that the use of biometric authentication may actually protect users from intrusive government snooping.
As Der Spiegel recently reported, leaked NSA documents have revealed that the U.S. government has the capability to intercept and decode telecommunications traffic. However, as recently noted by Bloomberg, Apple has stated that users’ fingerprints will never be stored online or backed up to the iCloud.
Instead, users’ fingerprints will only be stored in an encrypted form within a secure section of the iPhone5S’s A7 chip. Since the fingerprint data will never be transmitted over a network, Apple’s biometric authentication system may actually be more secure against the government’s decryption efforts.