A patent published today by the USPTO shows the company is working on a way to use the biometric details of iPhone thieves against them. In the patent, titled “Biometric capture for unauthorized user identification,” Apple details a way for the Touch ID sensor to record, store, and transmit a thief’s fingerprints, which could then be provided to law enforcement to help identify the perpetrator. The way it would work is after a set number of unknown fingerprints attempted to unlock an iPhone via the Touch ID sensor, that device would then automatically start recording and storing fingerprints of the unknown finger. If the legal iPhone owner then reported their device as stolen, the fingerprint could be grabbed remotely from the iPhone. It’s not known if this security feature will ever make it into iPhones however, as Apple currently restricts fingerprint information to the phone itself due to privacy concerns, and it may deem having the ability to send fingerprint data from the iPhone to a server as too great of a privacy threat.
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