Touch ID is supposed to be Apple’s answer to smartphone theft prevention and to protect the contents of your device. Supposedly the feature is pretty secure and apart from a report and claim here and there, the security of Touch ID appears to be pretty good with relatively few complaints.
However according to a report from CNN, it seems that a 7-year old boy managed to bypass his father’s Touch ID in the most straightforward and innocent way possible. How? Simple. He went up to his sleeping father, took his thumb and placed it over the Touch ID sensor, thus unlocking the phone in the process.
Now we’re sure some of you guys are wondering, how is this a big deal? For starters it’s a tad ironic because the boy’s father Matthew Green, teaches cryptography and computer security at Johns Hopkins University. Secondly, it also serves to highlight that despite Touch ID being a relatively secure way of locking your phone from thieves, there’s really no stopping the thief or even a police officer from pressing your thumb/finger down on the sensor and unlocking it.
This is something we’ve highlighted before in our review of the iPhone 5s where we stated that Touch ID was more of a convenience than a hardcore security feature. According to Green, “This is a really serious problem. In a situation where you’re under arrest, biometrics are not very good [at protecting your information.]” In fact using the good old passcode is still a better way at protecting your information, at least from the authorities as one could always plead the Fifth Amendment and not give your passcode away.