Big Brother is probably stealing your prints

MNOs & device manufacturers could be forced to hand over fingerprints

Despite various Libertarian groups trying to combat the disclosure of personal information to the authorities, there’s nothing much they can do. Records kept by mobile network operators [MNOs] concerning telephone numbers; SMS traffic; and (in particular) local are handed over to the appropriate authorities. In many cases, these governmental bodies don’t even need to get a judge’s permission. Especially in cases of suspected terrorism. It seems, however, that this practice could soon be extended to fingerprints.

Fingerprint recognition technology has been with us for many, many years.

For example, IBM Thinkpad laptop computers used to offer such a facility even before IBM sold that division to China’s Lenovo.

However, what has made the authorities sit up and take note of the existence of fingerprint data has been the introduction of Touch ID inside Apple latest 5s smartphone.

Indeed, the Apple iPhone 5s wasn’t actually the first smartphone to support fingerprint recognition.

It was actually the ATRIX from Motorola – offered in conjunction with Orange as far back as 2011 as we reported here.

However, the success of the 5s has meant that authorities worldwide have started to realise that a vast amounts of fingerprint data is being stored inside mobile devices.

So, for example, if you were to own a 5s on a postpaid (PAYG) basis and then tried to claim the phone wasn’t yours – the fingerprint data proves who the real owner actually is.

What worries GoMo News‘ source for these rumours is that your fingerprints – innocently provided in order to protect a martphone or mobile computing device, could easily fall into authorities hands.

It’s a bit like taking a DNA test without realising you’ve consented to it.

Armed with such information, the police might be able, for example, to arrest you for an unsolved crime such as a burglary.

It’s a worrying rend and one which we suspect that the vast majority of Apple fanbois haven’t even taken into consideration.

About Tony Dennis

Tony is currently Editor of GoMobile News. He's a veteran telecoms journalist who has previously worked for major printed and online titles. Follow him on Twitter @GoMoTweet.
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