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iPhone Fingerprint Scanner Raises


"If someone hacks your password, you can change it - as many times as you want," Franken, a Democrat from Minnesota, said in a letter sent Thursday to Apple CEO Tim Cook. "You can't change your fingerprints. You have only ten of them. And you leave them on everything you touch; they are definitely not a secret."

Franken added that a fingerprint uniquely identifies its owner, unlike a string of numbers and letters.

"Let me put it this way: if hackers get a hold of your thumbprint, they could use it to identify and impersonate you for the rest of your life," he wrote. Franken's office released the letter to the media Friday.

Even before the new iPhone 5S was released Friday, hackers have been competing on a website to see who could be the first to "reliably and repeatedly" break into the new phone by lifting prints. Researchers and a venture capital firm who created the online contest are offering more than $13,000 -- as well as alcohol and Bitcoins, a virtual currency -- to the first person to fool the new fingerprint scanner, according to a website that organized the contest.
"I should add that regardless of how carefully Apple implements fingerprint technology, this decision will surely pave the way for its peers and smaller competitors to adopt biometric technology, with varying protections for privacy," he wrote.


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