iPhone Fingerprints Must Be Live

Sorry Bad Guys – An iPhone 5S Can’t Be Unlocked By a Severed Finger or a Corpse

You’ve seen it in spy movies. The villain doesn’t need a live human to unlock the biometric safety features. They just take a finger or use one from a person they’ve just offed. Well, Apple says that won’t work with the iPhone 5S. It’s good news for people with sensitive data on their phones. Now that the word is out, bad guys are less likely to come after your finger in the night. Of course, if they want something bad enough, they may be willing to force someone at gun point to unlock the phone, but we are talking about the most extreme of espionage.

By the way, this also means that someone can’t just steal your fingerprint off of the glass you used in the hotel bar – a far more likely espionage tactic. Why won’t it work? The iPhone doesn’t just rely on your fingerprint to identify you. The radio frequencies that it scans with need to detect the sublayers of your skin. If it isn’t attached to your hand, your fingerprint simply won’t open the device, and that includes if the body the finger is attached to is no longer alive.

You don’t hear a lot of manufacturers talking about the idea of persons being killed for their finger or even having it cut off. It’s morbid, and we don’t want to imagine that things like that happen outside of the movies. But that doesn’t mean they don’t take such things into consideration when making devices. The fact is that Apple developers made sure that in order for your device to be unlocked your fingerprint has to be produced from your finger, attached to your living body. There’s no other way that it will work.

Now that the technology has reached this point, you can expect to see it start to become more universal. After all, the last thing that device manufacturers want is for their customers to be killed in order to unlock their devices. It’s simply not good for business.