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Fingerprints are “unhackable”

Jan 2, 2015 | Blog, Security

When my daughter started secondary school the teacher proudly showed off the biometric payment system that was used to buy lunch, consumables, basically anything that would normally require that the students carry cash.

While I understood and still understand the benefits of school children not carrying cash at the time I queried the appropriateness of collecting biometric data from children with the teacher giving the tour and her response was rather worrying, she said “its ok, its unhackable”.

Now I don’t for one minute expect your average teacher to understand the security implications of biometrics, but what alarms me is the confidence in a technology they don’t understand, a confidence that they then try to pass on to students.

It worries be that young people are being led to believe that biometrics are the future, that they should have faith that they work, the conspiracy theorist in me says that the whole reason that biometrics are being used so frequently in schools, and yet so rarely in the adult world is that the powers that being a playing the long game, that systems like this will creep into all areas of our lives, and when it does those of use with privacy concerns will  be in the minority.

Those Who Sacrifice Liberty For Security Deserve Neither. Benjamin Franklin

But back to the original point biometrics, particularly fingerprint readers have been hacked many times, but always requiring a fingerprint, the latest vulnerability which was recently announced  at the CCC doesn’t require access to an original fingerprint, as it relies on nothing more than a photograph that shows the targets hands.

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