03 March 2015
Fingerprint Technology on Your Phone
Technology has come on leaps and bounds in the past few years and with many market leaders looking for the “next big thing” in software, combined with the public’s love of touchscreen devices, it’s not surprising that fingerprint technology is working its way in to our lives.
Two of the top high street banks have introduced fingerprint technology to allow customers to access their bank accounts and make transactions on their smartphone. Royal Bank of Scotland and NatWest customers can now download Apple’s Touch ID on their iPhone 5s, 6 or 6 Plus and have instant access via their fingerprint. It would have to be set up using the online security features in the first instance, but after the customer activates it instant access and transactions are possible by a single finger print.
However, this does raise a few questions about internet security, personal data, and whether or not it’s “hackable”. Apple insists this new technology is secure but after a previous fingerprint software was proven easy to access with a copy of a fingerprint there are some that don’t believe Apple’s claims.
A representative from SRLabs, a German hacking think tank, believes that fingerprint technology is pretty easy to hack and the risks aren’t fully understood: "Just the fact that you are carrying the key around with you and leave copies of it exposed everywhere you go makes it a very different risk to something that is inside your brain. The risks are poorly understood."
Around 5.7 million transactions a day are made using smartphones and other internet-enabled technologies and banking apps have been downloaded more than 12.4 million times in Britain. It is very important when considering using a banking app that it is as secure as possible. Having access to your details via your phone, which most of us have with us all the time everywhere we go, greatly increases the risk of someone else gaining access to your accounts. Fingerprint technology may seem like a revolutionary step in software development but it may be worthwhile assessing the risks before signing up.
If you are considering using or creating software or apps that use fingerprint technology Slater and Gordon Lawyers offer expert legal advice on Information Technology and Internet Laws. Call our Internet Lawyers on freephone 0800 916 9052 or contact us online.
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