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European Apple patent hints at NFC-enabled iPhone fingerprint sensor

post #1 of 65
Thread Starter 
A recently unveiled European patent filed by Apple describes a means of combining a fingerprint scanner with near-field communication technology, furthering rumors that Apple's next iPhone will integrate a novel form of security in order to set itself apart.



International Patent No. WO 2013/130396 A2 describes an "electronic device with shared near field communications and sensor structures." It is derived from a U.S. patent application that was filed last year.

FP Patent


The technology discussed in the patent, spotted by Patently Apple, seems to align well with what industry observers believe will be the main security feature built into at least the higher-end model of iPhone that is likely to be introduced later this week. Consensus seems to have settled around a silver ring surrounding the home button on the "iPhone 5S." That ring, which has shown up in purported packaging materials and in supposed iPhone component leaks, is thought to house aspects of a fingerprint scanner that could take the place in many cases of a password.

Notably, the European patent even depicts a metal ring around the home button, with its embedded sensor also displayed in the illustration. That matches exactly what analysts and commentators have come to believe will be the central feature of Apple's new high-end smartphone.

Aside from simply unlocking the device or replacing a password in, for example, an iTunes transaction, the addition of a fingerprint sensor as described in the patent could open a range of new possibilities for using the device. The pairing of the sensor with near-field communication technology could allow Apple to move into a range of different sectors.

The patent discusses leveraging the NFC-biometric pairing to provide secure interactions involving wireless lock functions, wireless data synching, and security applications. Additional possible applications include pairing with headphones, interactions with vending machines, and verification of security badges. It also mentions the possibility of using NFC data for a wireless payment.

FP Patent


That latter element could prove one of the most important functions an NFC-enabled iPhone could perform. NFC connectivity has been a feature in Android-powered phones for some time now, and Google and others have been attempting to push the technology as a mobile payment platform, to middling results. Google in particular has seen its efforts stymied by resistance from assorted wireless carriers, who are pushing their own competing mobile payment platform.

Apple, meanwhile, has sat out the rush to integrate NFC, even though the iPhone maker is believed to have been working on integrating it with iPhones since 2010. Last year saw Apple unveiling Passbook, a digital wallet feature that stores tickets, store cards, and boarding passes. At the time, many observers puzzled at Apple's reluctance to take the extra step and integrate NFC.

Some observers pointed out that security flaws in the NFC standard could allow for many phones to be accessed without user permission. Presumably, Apple's pairing of NFC with a biometric sensing security level would serve to mitigate some of that risk.
post #2 of 65
So, the home button uses NFC to communicate with the finger...
post #3 of 65
This would appear to be simply a possible extension of the fingerprint sensor technology that will be employed in the iPhone 5s, not necessarily the technology itself.

The author is wrong to imply that this patent indicates that the NFC technology will be present in the soon-to-be announced device. NFC need not ever be present in any iOS device for this to be a reasonable patent for Apple to apply for.
post #4 of 65
I guess what that means is NFC is only activated when a person is authenticated by biometric finger scan.
post #5 of 65

This appears to be an remarkable patent. I believe username/password challenges are about to be obsolete. This is the beginning of the end of having to enter your username/password. Just a matter of time before this is the only way for all their products to authenticate. And by the looks of it, a much more secure way as well.

post #6 of 65

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post #7 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by nzhong168 View Post

I guess what that means is NFC is only activated when a person is authenticated by biometric finger scan.

 

Or better yet, biometric authentication can be triggered as part of the NFC transaction.  Just as it can be triggered by over the internet.

It's just an authentication factor like user ID and password.  For example:

 

1.  Push the power button to login using fingerprint authentication.

2.  Wave phone in front of receiver to initiate NFC communication.

3.  Use the in-display fingerprint reader to authenticate the NFC transaction.

 

The Question is who is going to own the huge fingerprint DB ?  

1.  Apple? 

2.  Banks / Credit card issuers? (Visa, MC, Amex, Discover)

3.  Government Agencies?

4.  ID card issuers?  (Corporations, Agencies, etc... )

post #8 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleSauce007 View Post
 

 

Or better yet, biometric authentication can be triggered as part of the NFC transaction.  Just as it can be triggered by over the internet.

It's just an authentication factor like user ID and password.  For example:

 

1.  Push the power button to login using fingerprint authentication.

2.  Wave phone in front of receiver to initiate NFC communication.

3.  Use the in-display fingerprint reader to authenticate the NFC transaction.

 

The Question is who is going to own the huge fingerprint DB ?  

1.  Apple? 

2.  Banks / Credit card issuers? (Visa, MC, Amex, Discover)

3.  Government Agencies?

4.  ID card issuers?  (Corporations, Agencies, etc... )

 

There is absolutely nothing about the NFC portion of this patent that couldn't also be done with bluetooth in a much more secure way however.  

 

And whether with bluetooth or with NFC, the important part is the fingerprint scan itself. "Waving" the phone as well as "pushing" the home button are not really necessary.  Once the fingerprint scanner is securely paired with the device and the fingerprint is required to open or use the device, then the mere presence of the device can serve as authentication.  There is no need to authenticate each transaction or even take your phone out of your pocket really.  Even if secondary authentication is necessary, merely touching the home button lightly with one finger should do it. 

post #9 of 65
The big question: Will this protect the user from NSA backdoor access? If the fingerprint is the ultimate gatekeeper for the device, would hacking attempts be completely quashed?

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #10 of 65
On a vaguely related matter, wasn't it the Ming Chi guy/gal who originally predicted the fingerprint sensor with 5S?

If so, major kudos. (I have been one of the major skeptics about him/her here, so it's all the more important that I acknowledge this prediction).
post #11 of 65

No. The NSA has Apple on board.

post #12 of 65
More security
post #13 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post
 

 

There is absolutely nothing about the NFC portion of this patent that couldn't also be done with bluetooth in a much more secure way however.  

 

And whether with bluetooth or with NFC, the important part is the fingerprint scan itself. "Waving" the phone as well as "pushing" the home button are not really necessary.  Once the fingerprint scanner is securely paired with the device and the fingerprint is required to open or use the device, then the mere presence of the device can serve as authentication.  There is no need to authenticate each transaction or even take your phone out of your pocket really.  Even if secondary authentication is necessary, merely touching the home button lightly with one finger should do it. 

 

Well,  3 things:

 

1.  If your phone is stolen (Grabbed from your hands) while you are logged on, the thief could have a filed day with your charge cards if a secondary fingerprint authentication is not necessary for verification.

 

2.  Once logged on, a slight push of the home button will exit an application or go to the home screen.  That's where the in-display fingerprint comes in.

 

3.  Different ID Card issuers may wish to use different fingerprint DBs.  Unless iCloud owns it all over the world.

post #14 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleSauce007 View Post

The Question is who is going to own the huge fingerprint DB ? 

 

It's unlikely that there would be a huge fingerprint database with regards to the patent or NFC transactions.  The fingerprint check is just there to authenticate the user, like a password or pin number.  While a fingerprint database could be implemented, it's not necessary.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

The big question: Will this protect the user from NSA backdoor access?

 

No, it probably won't.  Apple is working with the NSA just like the other major technology companies are.  Apple joined up with the NSA and began sharing data in October 2012 according to the leaked documents.

post #15 of 65
What a contrast: The fingerprint scanner is another example of Apple innovation that will change the way the world communicates. Samsung on the other hand is focused on creating expensive, ugly watches that no one will buy.

Please update the AppleInsider app to function in landscape mode.

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Please update the AppleInsider app to function in landscape mode.

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post #16 of 65
Silver Ring... Hmm...

One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
/
/
/

Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

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Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

Reply
post #17 of 65
Originally Posted by Rot'nApple View Post
Silver Ring... Hmm...

One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them

 

It was gold.

post #18 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by DroidFTW View Post
 

 

It's unlikely that there would be a huge fingerprint database with regards to the patent or NFC transactions.  The fingerprint check is just there to authenticate the user, like a password or pin number.  While a fingerprint database could be implemented, it's not necessary.

 

I agree that for speed and simplicity the fingerprint stored on the phone can be used to login to the phone.

However, the third party applications are limitless.  Passbook applications are about the get very sophisticated.

 

The APIs for this should be interesting.


Edited by AppleSauce007 - 9/8/13 at 6:07pm
post #19 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post

What a contrast: The fingerprint scanner is another example of Apple innovation that will change the way the world communicates. Samsung on the other hand is focused on creating expensive, ugly watches that no one will buy.

Right on. Just like the retarded feature that is supposed to pause video play back when you look away and resume when you look at the device again. That is the buggiest greatest gimmick fail of all times. Just like the unlock feature that "IDs your face." I took a picture I had of my buddy and showed it to the phone directly from my iPhone and it unlock his Android. Just a bunch of gimmicki features that don't even work. Now this, if it is true, is a serious feature. This IS innovation.
post #20 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleSauce007 View Post
 

 

Or better yet, biometric authentication can be triggered as part of the NFC transaction.  Just as it can be triggered by over the internet.

It's just an authentication factor like user ID and password.  For example:

 

1.  Push the power button to login using fingerprint authentication.

2.  Wave phone in front of receiver to initiate NFC communication.

3.  Use the in-display fingerprint reader to authenticate the NFC transaction.

 

The Question is who is going to own the huge fingerprint DB ?  

1.  Apple? 

2.  Banks / Credit card issuers? (Visa, MC, Amex, Discover)

3.  Government Agencies?

4.  ID card issuers?  (Corporations, Agencies, etc... )

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post
 

 

There is absolutely nothing about the NFC portion of this patent that couldn't also be done with bluetooth in a much more secure way however.  

 

And whether with bluetooth or with NFC, the important part is the fingerprint scan itself. "Waving" the phone as well as "pushing" the home button are not really necessary.  Once the fingerprint scanner is securely paired with the device and the fingerprint is required to open or use the device, then the mere presence of the device can serve as authentication.  There is no need to authenticate each transaction or even take your phone out of your pocket really.  Even if secondary authentication is necessary, merely touching the home button lightly with one finger should do it. 

 

The bigger question I have is how Apple implements an iWallet and payments.

 

Are they going to:

 

1. Partner with MasterCard or VISA of which own the PayPass NFC terminals already located at many retailers worldwide

 

2. Partner with Isis the NFC terminals developed in partnership by US Carriers. (This I doubt because it would be too "US-Centric")

 

3. Develop their own Payment system.

 

Of course the Apple way would be #3, but I have doubts, because they haven't made any movement in that direction. If they were going to set up an entire NFC or Bluetooth payment structure from the ground up, I would think they would have quietly bought some small companies focused on wireless payment terminal technology or made the necessary hires for that.

 

It would seem to me that Apple may just partner with an established system and add their weight behind that. I'm banking on a deal with MasterCard and/or VISA with some sort of profit sharing involved as well. That would be instantly global and usable on day 1, and it would kill Google Wallet overnight.

post #21 of 65
I predict that thieves / pickpockets will add a new tool to their arsenal - a pair or sharp garden shears. Just snip off the digit of a victim, and have access to their phone and much more.
post #22 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by coffeetime View Post

I predict that thieves / pickpockets will add a new tool to their arsenal - a pair or sharp garden shears. Just snip off the digit of a victim, and have access to their phone and much more.

 

For the milionth time. This will be impossible with Apple's tech. It only reads LIVE fingerprints. Of course there may be some thieves dumb enough to chop people's fingers off, but they'll be disappointed to find out it won't work.

post #23 of 65
Originally Posted by coffeetime View Post
I predict that thieves / pickpockets will add a new tool to their arsenal - a pair or sharp garden shears. Just snip off the digit of a victim, and have access to their phone and much more.

 

How many times does it have to be repeated that living tissue is required?

post #24 of 65

Wow, so Apple keeps adding things nobody wants and can be used to spy on people even more by unscrupulous politicians -- fingerprint biometrics, and NFC/RFID Spychips.  Who would use such intrusions?!  No thanks!

Educate yourselves

http://spychips.com

 

America: Freedom to Fascism

http://freedomtofascism.com

 

 

Yes, NFC is essentially RFID+:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Near_field_communication

post #25 of 65

Take it to PO, please.

post #26 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleSauce007 View Post
 

 

Or better yet, biometric authentication can be triggered as part of the NFC transaction.  Just as it can be triggered by over the internet.

It's just an authentication factor like user ID and password.  For example:

 

1.  Push the power button to login using fingerprint authentication.

2.  Wave phone in front of receiver to initiate NFC communication.

3.  Use the in-display fingerprint reader to authenticate the NFC transaction.

 

The Question is who is going to own the huge fingerprint DB ?  

1.  Apple? 

2.  Banks / Credit card issuers? (Visa, MC, Amex, Discover)

3.  Government Agencies?

4.  ID card issuers?  (Corporations, Agencies, etc... )

 

you don't understand the technology.  The fingerprint never leaves the phone.  and if I understand it correctly, it's ONLY to release a key from the keychain that says it's you (effectively unlocking your private key... the public part of that key is at Apple,, or if necessary, a separate key pair created when you provision against the app).  And it is a  hash your fingerprint data at that, salted against the device's own private data...  In essense, your fingerprint goes no where but into a one way hashing function, likely salted by the device, so they are useless except for pairing of person/device as a 'something you have, and something you are' identity.   You move to your iPad, a separate hash is created.

 

Your husband wants to buy something using your iPhone... well, not until your fingerprint is entered

(which leads me to believe that separate iOS 'accounts' will be soon in the offing... with your fingerprint as your username and password).

 

And that hash can do a few things

- unlock the device.

- it can be the key to unlock a secret that any  2nd Party application wants

- in can unlock coupons in passbook.

- or it can be a key that can be registered with Apple as a 'trusted 3rd party', and Apple can provide identity services, fraud services, and even payment services (remember those 600Million credit cards on file....)

 

I see Apple setting up the latter as a service...  I'm sure corporations could do their own, as could credit cards or gov't agencies (until your Drivers License is an App... I doubt that).  It's pretty much a extension of Kerberos ticket granting, with the app, the websites and users both registering keys with Apple for all parties to be verified (yes, we all have to trust Apple's private key isn't on the wall at NSA).

 

Note that Apple can also provide some fraud metrics (phone is reported lost/stolen,  phone appears to be in 2 different places at the same time (Apple could send a silent push notification to verify the IP address/GPS location, or it may be a requirement of the authentication token), or if the AppleID is hinky due to some other reason.

 

In the long run,  I see apple exploiting this as a payment processor.  It has the credit cards itself for the Apple Store, it can expose those and others via passbook.   This is the end game.

post #27 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleSauce007 View Post
 

 

Or better yet, biometric authentication can be triggered as part of the NFC transaction.  Just as it can be triggered by over the internet.

It's just an authentication factor like user ID and password.  For example:

 

1.  Push the power button to login using fingerprint authentication.

2.  Wave phone in front of receiver to initiate NFC communication.

3.  Use the in-display fingerprint reader to authenticate the NFC transaction.

 

The Question is who is going to own the huge fingerprint DB ?  

1.  Apple? 

2.  Banks / Credit card issuers? (Visa, MC, Amex, Discover)

3.  Government Agencies?

4.  ID card issuers?  (Corporations, Agencies, etc... )

 

I don't think having a fingerprint DB, or even transmitting the fingerprint would be a great approach. At least you can't ever change your fingerprints; having them compromised would be "forever". I do believe that you only authenticate yourself to your own device, and that the actual financial transaction does not rely on the fingerprint at all. (E.g. authorised devices using biometrics could be allowed to [optionally maybe] bypass the password step in current NFC transactions, they would only require a unique device ID of some kind.)

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

 

There is absolutely nothing about the NFC portion of this patent that couldn't also be done with bluetooth in a much more secure way however.  

 

No idea about other places, buy no payment service or credit card provider seems to deploy any BT based solutions here. It is all NFC or barcodes/QR. Don't think a solution that requires additional hardware would go far.

post #28 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
 

 

How many times does it have to be repeated that living tissue is required?

 

How many times do AI threads remind us that most living tissue is muscle and gut... very little of it is brain.

post #29 of 65

I see the NFC as more of a defensive aspect of this patent. Bluetooth smart or NFC, whatever specific implementation is used for local communication, is irrelevant to the user.

 

The most interesting thing about this development is that silver ring around the fingerprint sensor serves multiple purposes. It supplies the micro-electric charge to the finger surface required for the scanner to function. Even aside from fingerprint identification, a detected change in capacitance can potentially identify a finger resting on the home button, even if the button isn't pressed. Previously the home button had two states: pressed or not pressed. Apple was able to build functionality around the long press, double press and triple press. Now it can exist in additional states: No user interaction, pressed by identified/other user and multiples thereof, and now, touched by identified/other user. The silver ring visually identifies devices that have this new functionality. And because it's a circle it works equally well in any device orientation.

 

The iPhone now has ways of identifying who a user is without requiring password authentication. I believe that Apple will start small before building the technology into more aspects of the device. Step one will be the convenience of unlocking the device without passwords. I don't envisage multiple user profiles for the same device (Apple would prefer everyone in the family to have their own device and Apple can easily spin it as too confusing for the average user). But Apple could probably build it into the parental access features: As soon as the iPhone detects something other than an (authorised) adult fingerprint the device seamlessly walls off the user from in-app purchases, internet browsing etc. Kids don't even have to know how the system functions for it to work. Teachers/Parents no longer have to entrust kids with passwords or risk leaving their device without password protection.

 

A device that can immediately recognise unauthorised users, digitally retain and transmit both identifying biometric information and location could also be a really clever way to combat theft. No way this would happen now - too many easy to spin as a privacy concern in the wake of Snowden - but it is an example of what is technically possible.

 

Everything about this technology plays to Apple's strengths: secure and simple. And furthermore it shows up the retard rodeo of Android's numerous security loopholes, malware, and ad hoc hardware fragmentation. This is why it's brilliantly implemented.

 

Once trust in the system is established, and adoption is widespread, it could also form another leg of the Apple's table: a proprietary mobile commerce system. Revenue on 30% of App Store commerce would be dwarfed by even 0.000000000000000001% of real world commerce.

 

While Apple is not the first to either fingerprint or mobile payment technology they are clearly well positioned to best leverage them. It will seem obvious to everyone in hindsight. While the media and "power users" have been shrilling for octocore processors and 5" screens Apple have been quietly toiling away on something awesome.


Edited by Dunks - 9/8/13 at 7:26pm
post #30 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by libertyforall View Post
 

Wow, so Apple keeps adding things nobody wants and can be used to spy on people even more by unscrupulous politicians -- fingerprint biometrics, and NFC/RFID Spychips.  Who would use such intrusions?!  No thanks!

 

Yes, NFC is essentially RFID+:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Near_field_communication

 

NFC falls under the umbrella of RFID, but the fact that smartphones have GPS, Wi-Fi, and 3G/4G/LTE capabilities make them much easier to track ones every move if a governement agency wished to do so.  Adding NFC technology pales in comparison for ease of use in tracking someones movement.  There's no reason why any agency would choose to use it to track you when smart phones have so many better ways to accomplish that task.

 

Fingerprint sensor?  Yeah, the government will most likely end up with more data to add to their fingerprint database when all is said and done.  If that's a big deal for someone then they should turn off that option (assuming it will be optional).

post #31 of 65
post #32 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by battlescarred1 View Post

Could the black square next to the home button be the NFC coil?

http://appleinsider.com/articles/13/09/06/silver-ring-around-iphone-5s-home-button-may-be-integral-to-fingerprint-reader-not-just-for-looks

 

For security reasons it'd be best to keep the range of the NFC part of the phone as small as possible while still retaining functionality (an inch or two).  Based on that, the chances that the silver ring around the home button or the black square next to it are part of the NFC hardware isn't good.  If the ring is, it's probably just a sensor that turns NFC capabilities on when touched and back off when not being touched.  When/If iPhones get NFC the hardware will most likely end up towards the back of the phone so it can be placed against something to function.


Edited by DroidFTW - 9/8/13 at 7:21pm
post #33 of 65

NFC? I thought they replicated NFC functions with bluetooth LE

post #34 of 65

Two things, an NFC phone could be tracked at government checkpoints EVEN WITHOUT cellular or wifi or bluetooth on!

 

2nd, there is concern around the ways different hardware features can be turned on via software, remotely, without your approval, possibly via a gov't backdoor, vulnerability, etc.  Without having a jailbroken device w/root access, you could never know for certain if these types of things were happening behind the scenes.  How could you know if the FaceTime front camera was turned on w/out your permission, there is no LED to show it on, and even if there was, the LED could be commanded off while the camera was on.  Same thing with a fingerprint sensor -- how do you know if it is not capturing yours w/out your authorization when you touch the home button?!!  There are plenty of reasons for jailbreaking to continue.  

 

Remember, when the people fear the government there is tyranny, and when the government fears the people there is liberty.  

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by DroidFTW View Post
 

 

NFC falls under the umbrella of RFID, but the fact that smartphones have GPS, Wi-Fi, and 3G/4G/LTE capabilities make them much easier to track ones every move if a governement agency wished to do so.  Adding NFC technology pales in comparison for ease of use in tracking someones movement.  There's no reason why any agency would choose to use it to track you when smart phones have so many better ways to accomplish that task.

 

Fingerprint sensor?  Yeah, the government will most likely end up with more data to add to their fingerprint database when all is said and done.  If that's a big deal for someone then they should turn off that option (assuming it will be optional).

post #35 of 65
Blackbook, purchasing Square would give Apple global recognition that would be less than MasterCard/Visa/American Express global recognition, but the purchase would provide Apple with immediate payment penetration. I have used Square for payments and the retailers I have spoken to rave about the system's ease of use, convenience and low fees. Tuesday is coming and I am excited to see and hear what Apple does to brighten my day!!
post #36 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by libertyforall View Post
 

Two things, an NFC phone could be tracked at government checkpoints EVEN WITHOUT cellular or wifi or bluetooth on!

 

2nd, there is concern around the ways different hardware features can be turned on via software, remotely, without your approval, possibly via a gov't backdoor, vulnerability, etc.  Without having a jailbroken device w/root access, you could never know for certain if these types of things were happening behind the scenes.  How could you know if the FaceTime front camera was turned on w/out your permission, there is no LED to show it on, and even if there was, the LED could be commanded off while the camera was on.  Same thing with a fingerprint sensor -- how do you know if it is not capturing yours w/out your authorization when you touch the home button?!!  There are plenty of reasons for jailbreaking to continue.  

 

Remember, when the people fear the government there is tyranny, and when the government fears the people there is liberty.  

 

"Paranoia will destroy yaaaa...."

You talkin' to me?
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You talkin' to me?
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post #37 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleSauce007 View Post

Well,  3 things:

1.  If your phone is stolen (Grabbed from your hands) while you are logged on, the thief could have a filed day with your charge cards if a secondary fingerprint authentication is not necessary for verification.

2.  Once logged on, a slight push of the home button will exit an application or go to the home screen.  That's where the in-display fingerprint comes in.

3.  Different ID Card issuers may wish to use different fingerprint DBs.  Unless iCloud owns it all over the world.

And ??? That's pure speculation 1smile.gif
post #38 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by libertyforall View Post

How could you know if the FaceTime front camera was turned on w/out your permission, there is no LED to show it on, and even if there was, the LED could be commanded off while the camera was on.  Same thing with a fingerprint sensor -- how do you know if it is not capturing yours w/out your authorization when you touch the home button?!!  There are plenty of reasons for jailbreaking to continue.  

 

Remember, when the people fear the government there is tyranny, and when the government fears the people there is liberty.  

 

Well, jailbreaking does not really help you with that either, as you still can't look into things happening inside compiled code. And, outside of people really knowing what they are doing (<1% of users, I would say), jailbreaking is a pretty foolproof way to make a device more vulnerable (default root password, disabling sandboxing, full file system access, ability to install potentially rogue apps using private APIs).

 

Most proverbs only sound somewhat intelligent initially. When criminals or terrorists fear the government, that does not really make it a tyranny. And when the people take the liberty to shot people in the street, because they do not like their color or clothing, it is not really liberty. No attempt to defend everything the NSA is doing (I wouldn't), but interpreting just everything in the most negative and conspiracy-theorist way results in a bunch of crap, too.

post #39 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheOtherGeoff View Post
 

 

you don't understand the technology.  The fingerprint never leaves the phone.  and if I understand it correctly, it's ONLY to release a key from the keychain that says it's you (effectively unlocking your private key... the public part of that key is at Apple,, or if necessary, a separate key pair created when you provision against the app).  And it is a  hash your fingerprint data at that, salted against the device's own private data...  In essense, your fingerprint goes no where but into a one way hashing function, likely salted by the device, so they are useless except for pairing of person/device as a 'something you have, and something you are' identity.   You move to your iPad, a separate hash is created.

 

Your husband wants to buy something using your iPhone... well, not until your fingerprint is entered

(which leads me to believe that separate iOS 'accounts' will be soon in the offing... with your fingerprint as your username and password).

 

And that hash can do a few things

- unlock the device.

- it can be the key to unlock a secret that any  2nd Party application wants

- in can unlock coupons in passbook.

- or it can be a key that can be registered with Apple as a 'trusted 3rd party', and Apple can provide identity services, fraud services, and even payment services (remember those 600Million credit cards on file....)

 

I see Apple setting up the latter as a service...  I'm sure corporations could do their own, as could credit cards or gov't agencies (until your Drivers License is an App... I doubt that).  It's pretty much a extension of Kerberos ticket granting, with the app, the websites and users both registering keys with Apple for all parties to be verified (yes, we all have to trust Apple's private key isn't on the wall at NSA).

 

Note that Apple can also provide some fraud metrics (phone is reported lost/stolen,  phone appears to be in 2 different places at the same time (Apple could send a silent push notification to verify the IP address/GPS location, or it may be a requirement of the authentication token), or if the AppleID is hinky due to some other reason.

 

In the long run,  I see apple exploiting this as a payment processor.  It has the credit cards itself for the Apple Store, it can expose those and others via passbook.   This is the end game.

 

 

1.  Not all ID / Security applications use PKI,  You are assuming only personal use for banking and other Passbook functions.  IAFIS for example is the largest biometric DB in the world and certain applications may wish to compare against that.

 

2.  Note that depending on the APIs, you can use an iOS device to create a fingerprint DB.  FingerPrint databases may become big business.

 

3.  What about using the in-display fingerprint scanner to prevent criminals from boarding planes or entering certain restricted areas. (Or vice versa)

 

4.  Whether the fingerprint images are hashed or compared as bitmaps, it needs to be determined whether the pattern of ridges and valleys in the input image matches the pattern of ridges and valleys in a pre-scanned images.

 


Edited by AppleSauce007 - 9/8/13 at 9:33pm
post #40 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by leavingthebigG View Post

Blackbook, purchasing Square would give Apple global recognition that would be less than MasterCard/Visa/American Express global recognition, but the purchase would provide Apple with immediate payment penetration. I have used Square for payments and the retailers I have spoken to rave about the system's ease of use, convenience and low fees. Tuesday is coming and I am excited to see and hear what Apple does to brighten my day!!

Apple won't spend several billion dollars on Square, Inc. when they can make oodles partnering with them or directly competing with them. Why throw billions to solve a problem they already have spent years and countless millions of dollars solving? 

 

Instead of merchants using a Square register or card reader dongle to swipe your card, the merchant would only need an iOS device (no card reader) and accept a payment from another nearby secure iOS device (with fingerprint scanner) over Bluetooth LE.

 

The charge would be made against the CC already on file with iTunes if the user activates that functionality. And cards could easily be coupled and de-coupled from iTunes accounts that allow a user's mobile payment processing. Certainly, Apple would allow credit cards not linked to iTunes to be added and removed as easily as multiple email accounts are in IOS Mail. For example, I may want to use a business credit card for a purchase, rather than a personal card linked to my iTunes account.

For your sake, I hope you're right.
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For your sake, I hope you're right.
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