From the start, we knew it will never be as safe as hyped. Any person who has given it some thought should of course know that fingerprint security for smartphones is inconsistent. Please, note that it works well. However, its peculiar nature means that it can be used against your will.
For example, the users’ fingerprint can be used to unlock their phones while they are sleep, drunk, or even dead and long gone.
On the other hand, your password goes to the grave with you if you do not reveal it.
Fingerprint Security For The Dead
Florida police unsuccessfully tried to unlock a dead man’s phone with his finger. As far as available laws are concerned, their action was legal. But people are troubled about how the officers attempted to do this on a dead man.
As far as things go, it is illegal in the USA for security agencies to force you to divulge your password. However, they are well within their rights to ask for your fingerprint. Wahala!
But imagine a scenario in which less scrupulous officers accost a loving person and forcefully put his finger to the phone’s sensor. With a password, however, short of applying torture tactics, no-one can pry a password out of your head.
How much security/privacy does fingerprint security provide then in the scenarios I have touched in this article? Perhaps we are better off with good old passwords?