Color me worried about mankind, humankind, and not only how we’re screwing up planet earth, but how we seem to make heads of tails, and merely misspeak when we’re actually lying. Not that far back in the day the mere hint of scandal was enough to ruin a political career, and now we have a government full of scandals. Does anyone have enough time to get something done?
Here’s another example of how yes means no, down means up, and good means something else. Your fingerprint could make your iPhone less secure. Zack Whittaker makes the argument and on the surface it’s fully ridonculous, and with a little scratching it becomes seemingly plausible, but when you stop scratching the silly itch, it’s just click bait nonsense.
First up, why is it just the iPhone that has a fingerprint problem? Don’t Android smartphones have fingerprint readers? The premise here has to do not with security as much as it does the politics of a court case where someone was compelled by a judge to unlock an iPhone using the Touch ID and aforementioned fingerprint.
But the problem is that feds have figured out that if it legally wants access to your iPhone’s data, it can’t force you to turn over your passcode but it can force you to unlock it with your fingerprint.
According to the argument making its way through the courts, giving up a password is protected by the 5th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, but giving up a finger (print) is not. So, if your iPhone is locked by both a password and your fingerprint via Touch ID– and you have incriminating evidence locked up inside your iPhone– the authorities cannot compel you to give up your password, but they can perform illegal search and seizure by cutting off your fingers, one at a time, until Touch ID unlocks the iPhone. Or, by using some other method of coercion.
It’s a rare instance that the law has moved faster than the tech in your pocket. US authorities figured out that your fingerprint is not subject to the Fifth Amendment, which protects the right to silence and prevents self-incrimination. In other words, it protects what’s stored in your head, but not what’s at on your finger tips.
So, according to Whittaker, if what’s on your iPhone could pose a legal problem for you, turn off Touch ID for the lock screen. By disabling more security, somehow you become more secure.
Say what? Uh huh. That’s the argument. I have a better way.
How about you leave Touch ID on because, well, you know– more security. Set the iPhone to Erase Data after 10 failed passcode attempts. When asked, tell the authorities you don’t use Touch ID. If forced, use the wrong finger 10 times. End of problem. What? You don’t want to lie to the authorities about using Touch ID but you’re hiding incriminating evidence from them?
That’s another conundrum. My method just makes your incriminating evidence more secure and doesn’t address the ethical issue of obfuscation. That’s for politicians who lie.