Apple’s Touch ID fingerprint scanner has been welcomed as a “major step forward” by Biometrics expert Philip Smith, whose company pioneered the technology a decade ago.
“It’s a huge milestone in bringing fingerprint-based biometrics to the mainstream,” he said. “I’m thrilled to see this.”
Of course a biometrics would welcome an advance like this. But Touch ID has already set off a firestorm of controversy among privacy advocates who say there could be lots of Big Brother implications, especially following revelations by Der Spiegel Online that the N.S.A. already has the ability to capture photos, GPS data, contacts and texts from iPhones.