Apple recently launched the new iPhone 5S and the new operating system iOS 7. Both the launches seemed to be big on security. Will the new security features be a strong enough deterrent to acts of theft?
In the first instance that users buy the iPhone 5S they will have to register their Apple ID and password. The fingerprint scanner helps the device identify the owner. The scanner feature known as "Touch ID" will also be used to unlock the phone instead of a password.
Many customers have been slow to accept the new technology. Just as any other new technology introduced in the markets, some customers are treating it with scepticism. There have been concerns about the usefulness of the technology and possible hacking issues.
However, the technology does have a few strong backers. Prosecutors from San Francisco and New York, along with the Mayor of London reportedly issued a joint statement urging users to download the new iOS 7.
If the iPhone 5S gets stolen, the thief will need the fingerprints of the owner to access the device. The phone also comes with a "kill switch," when activated remotely the feature makes the device inoperable.
The linking of the device to a particular Apple ID makes it difficult to resell the device. Wiping the memory of the device itself does not guarantee that the identity of the device has been cleared.
The fingerprint scanner can also be used for functions like making purchases on the iTunes and using payment processing apps like the newly released "Google Wallet."(Click here to read more about the "Google Wallet" which is now available on iPhones.)
Hackers have been working overtime to find a flaw or loophole in the iPhone 5S security features. There is a $ 10,000 cash bounty for anyone who can crack the system. Other incentives for hackers reportedly include alcohol like Laphroaig, Maker's Mark and Argentine wine. A "dirty book" is also reportedly offered.
The offer may not be necessary for government bodies looking to collect personal information. The fingerprint data is stored in a secure file in the A7 chip on the iPhone 5S, but given the resources of governments it may not be secure enough. There have been widespread concerns about government agencies snooping on its citizens.
The new technology may be a strong enough to deter any thief to steal the iPhone 5S, for now. With a bounty on its head, the security of the device depends on the success of hackers.
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