UCHastings Instagram

          Student-Alumni #BOB
          Instagram Photo Likes chesc2015, uchastings_blsa, liannemarcella and 25 others like this.
          Thursday, September 12, 2013

          Adjunct Professor Marcia Hofmann on the iPhone's New Fingerprint ID

          Hofmann looks at the legal implications of Apple's new identification system in this opinion piece in Wired, Sept. 12, 2013.

          There’s a lot of talk around biometric authentication since Apple introduced its newest iPhone, which will let users unlock their device with a fingerprint. Given Apple’s industry-leading position, it’s probably not a far stretch to expect this kind of authentication to take off. Some even argue that Apple’s move is a death knell for authenticators based on what a user knows (like passwords and PIN numbers).

          While there’s a great deal of discussion around the pros and cons of fingerprint authentication — from the hackability of the technique to the reliability of readers — no one’s focusing on the legal effects of moving from PINs to fingerprints.

          Because the constitutional protection of the Fifth Amendment, which guarantees that “no person shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself,” may not apply when it comes to biometric-based fingerprints (things that reflect who we are) as opposed to memory-based passwords and PINs (things we need to know and remember).

          Biometric authentication may make it easier for normal, everyday users to protect the data on their phones. But as wonderful as technological innovation is, it sometimes creates unintended consequences — including legal ones. If Apple’s move leads us to abandon knowledge-based authentication altogether, we risk inadvertently undermining the legal rights we currently enjoy under the Fifth Amendment.

          Here’s an easy fix: give users the option to unlock their phones with a fingerprint plus something the user knows.

          Read the full piece from Wired here. Follow Hofmann on Twitter at @marciahofmann

           

          Go to News Archive

          Share this Story

          Share via Facebook
          Share via TwitterShare via EmailPrint Friendly Version

          Other Recent Stories/ RSS

          Monday, March 30, 2015

          Not Your Typical Spring Break

          The Hastings to Haiti Partnership Delegation spent the week engaging with Haitian law students and legal organizations.
          Friday, March 27, 2015

          Thinkers & Doers: March 27, 2015

          UC Hastings community members in the news and making moves March 22, 2015 - March 27, 2015.
          Tuesday, March 24, 2015

          Q + A with Court Mediator Mattie Robertson '10

          How the UC Hastings Mediation Clinic prepared her to manage the Court Mediation Program for the nonprofit SEEDS Community Resolution Center in Oakland.
          Tuesday, March 24, 2015

          Sara Huffman ‘14 Selected as Equal Justice Works Fellow Sponsored by PG&E and Latham & Watkins

          Grant supports expanding legal services to senior patients at the Veteran’s Administration hospital.
          Monday, March 23, 2015

          George Takei to Keynote 134th UC Hastings Law Commencement

          Sunday, May 10, 2015 in the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium
          Go to News Archive