UCHastings Instagram

          Videos of the 135th #UCHastings Commencement speeches coming soon to Facebook. #uch2016 #uchastingsalumni @uchastingsalumni
          Instagram Photo Likes cmles, kphizz, alexagshapiro and 36 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

          Friday, May 27, 2016

          Prof. Veena Dubal's Objection on behalf of Uber Drivers featured in LA Times

          "When lawyer Veena Dubal heard last month that Uber drivers seeking to be recognized as employees rather than independent contractors might settle their class-action lawsuit before it went to trial, she cried."
          Tuesday, May 17, 2016

          UC Hastings Graduates Earn Certificates in Child Advocacy

          Olivia Mendoza, Jeanette Acosta, and Grecia Ceja '16 recognized by Legal Services for Children.
          Tuesday, May 17, 2016

          How To Conduct Investigative Interviews

          Tips From Staci Dresher '03, Private Eye
          Tuesday, May 17, 2016

          Staci Dresher '03: From Lawyer to Global Private Eye

          “Facts make cases go away, they put money in the pockets they belong, they bring wrongdoers to justice.”
          Wednesday, May 11, 2016

          From 200 McAllister Street to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

          3L Andrew Demirchyan has spent the last few months of his law school career working as a legal intern at the White House. In this Q&A, he shares details about fulfilling a lifelong dream and, yes, meeting President Obama.
          Go to News Archive