“When Apple introduced the new iPhone 5s with its Touch ID fingerprint scanner feature, Dan Riccio, Senior VP Hardware Engineering stated at the 2:19 mark of Apple’s introductory video that ‘All fingerprint information is encrypted and stored inside a secure enclave in our new A7 chip. Here it’s locked away from everything else, accessible only by the Touch ID sensor. It’s never available to other software, and it’s never stored on Apple servers or backed up to iCloud,'” Jack Purcher reports for Patently Apple.
“One of Apple’s latest patent applications published by the US Patent and Trademark Office reveals the mechanics and thinking behind this ‘secure enclave’ and more,” Purcher reports. “The electronic device may be a mobile telephone, a tablet computing device, a notebook computer, a personal digital assistant, a desktop computer, a portable media player, and the like. Later on [Apple] notes that ‘In certain exemplary embodiments, the device can include a separate attachment, such as external scan accessory 240.'”
Much more, including Apple’s patent application illustrations, in the full article here.
Apple’s Touch ID is revolutionary, paradigm-altering technology; Steve Jobs would be quite proud – September 17, 2013
Apple reveals flagship iPhone 5s with Touch ID, the world’s first and only 64-bit smartphone – September 10, 2013