U.S. Senate Democrat Al Franken demands answers from Apple CEO Tim Cook over iPhone 5s’ Touch ID

“The iPhone 5s, released Friday, has a built-in fingerprint scanner, which will function as an alternative to conventional passwords,” Andrea Peterson reports for The Washington Post. “Some privacy advocates are concerned about how Apple plans to handle this highly sensitive data. Apple says it will only store the data collected via Touch ID on the device in an encrypted format rather than in a centralized server. Apple will also block third-party apps from accessing Touch ID.”

“But Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) wants details about Apple’s plan for the data collected by the system,” Peterson reports. “Thursday he sent a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook asking some tough questions about the fingerprint system, and noting how fundamentally different biometric identifiers are from previous ID methods.”

“Franken wants to know more about the technical possibilities of Touch ID and how Apple plans to use it,” Peterson reports. “For instance, if it’s possible to convert or extract locally stored fingerprint data in a format that could be used by third parties, and whether that can be accomplished without physical access to the phone. And what diagnostic information, if any, the iPhone 5s transmits about the Touch ID system to Apple and third parties. And he wants assurances that Apple will never share the fingerprint data or the tools needed to get them with commercial third parties.”

Read more in the full article here.

Franken’s letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook is here.

MacDailyNews Note:

[Thanks to MacDailyNews readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]

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    1. Your response is fresh common sense for the greater good. Unfortunately, this senate clown is only looking for puffed press. Obviously, going after the most cash rich company in the world while neglecting the common citizen tracked by NSA generates larger headlines.

  1. i think an american politician demanding answers on security issues, after the NSA fiasco is a bit rich ………i am sure the american public have as many questions they want answered, about illegal email interception !!

  2. I guess it’s good they are looking out for citizens but when they “demand” at least I think it sounds as they deem themselves extremely important. I don’t know if it is the senator or just how the article was written but here it sounds if he is accusing Apple of something bad and wrong ad that might not have been what he did. Or maybe he really “demanded” answers in which I think it sounds like he is accusing Apple if something or at least saying – We are watching you!.

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