Apple and Samsung must address spoofed fingerprints, says Senator
21 July 2014 22:06 GMT

Apple and Samsung aim to quell fingerprint fears on the Hill

Letters discussing fingerprint security have just been released that show a fascinating exchange between Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) and two of the world’s largest tech industry players – Apple and Samsung.

Released last week, the two companies – both of which have fingerprint technology in some of their cell phone models - attempt to convince Franken that using fingerprints as passwords on phones is safe and private.

Cindi Moreland, Vice President and General Counsel at Samsung Telecommunications America said in response to a letter sent by Franken, that: “The scanner does not store the fingerprint image…The mathematical representation is stored in a secure part of the semiconductor architecture and cannot be accessed by or shared with external sources. It remains inside the phone.”

Moreland also said that Samsung is developing its fingerprint scanning application for devices beyond the Galaxy S5.

Apple also responded saying it was not possible to extract or obtain fingerprint data from an iPhone.

Following the release of the letters Franken made said that the companies’ responses were mostly good news but that there more for Samsung and Apple to do.

Franken said: "Both companies have not taken any further steps to prevent criminals from bypassing fingerprint readers with a spoofed print. That problem needs to be fixed, since fingerprint readers are becoming a gateway to a range of powerfully sensitive information."