October 1, 2013
Anonymous has made a claim that once again strikes at the heart of security in the digital age. At issue is Apple’s new Touch ID, which brings fingerprint authentication to the iPhone for the first time. According to the group, which released the video shown below, Apple has worked very closely with U.S. government agencies and surveillance groups to bring Touch ID to market. As proof, they note that former AuthenTec director Robert E. Grady played a central role in the George W. Bush administration, and was also connected with The Carlyle Group. Grady is currently a Managing Director at Cheyenne Capital, a $500 million private equity fund. Prior to this, he did work for AuthenTec and at other properties owned by The Carlyle Group. Apple acquired AuthenTec in 2012 for $356 million. Its fingerprint technology is likely what powers Touch ID. Connecting the dots, Anonymous claims that The Carlyle Group is a majority shareholder in Booz Allen Hamilton, which is the same place where National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden worked. Anonymous’ bottom line is that Touch ID is deliberately insecure. As a result, it only serves as a way for security and surveillance firms to acquire large quantities of biometric data. Take a look at Anonymous’ claim in its entirety: It’s important to note that Apple has publicly stated that the fingerprints used by Touch ID are not stored on iCloud. Instead, they are held on the device’s A7 chip. Apple calls Touch ID a “secure way to access your phone.” Personally, I find the claims made by Anonymous a stretch, at best. Still, with everything that has happened in the past year with the NSA and Snowden, one never knows. What do you think? Should we fear Touch ID? See also: That Didn't Take Long: Hackers Outsmart Apple's Touch ID, Apple's Touch ID Can Be Used With 'Other' Body Parts, Too, and How To Set Up And Use Touch ID On The iPhone 5s.