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Is bad security better than no security?

By September 24, 2013January 30th, 2019No Comments

ImageWhen I first heard about the features of the new iPhone I was thrilled. Not because I’m a huge Apple fan, in fact quite the reverse, but because it included a security feature as standard – the Fingerprint Scanner.

However, it didn’t take long for hackers to claim Apple’s scalp, proving the technology to be ‘hackable’. The Chaos Computing Club claims to have defeated Touch ID by photographing the fingerprint of an iPhone’s user, then printing it on to a transparent sheet, which it used to create a mould for a “fake finger.” But does that mean Apple was wrong to include the technology?

I’d argue not.

I like to think that I’m fairly security conscious, at least in the digital world, and have long understood the inadequacy of the passcode. However, I still use it and with good reason. I have a friend whose device doesn’t have a code and she regularly leaves it unattended. As a result it’s become a challenge to see who can slip the phone off the table and post the most obscure status updates, make random tweets, and take bizarre ‘selfies’. Secretly, she must enjoy it as I can’t see any other reason for leaving her phone lying around – but I digress. While a passcode would at least hinder our efforts, it probably wouldn’t stop the die-hards of the group. But the fingerprint scanner would.

Of course, there will be some that disagree, arguing that if security can be cracked then it’s worthless. But is that really the case? We all have locks on our front door but we know a persistent burglar isn’t going to be deterred. But the opportunist will be. And surely that’s the point.

In normal life you’d be pretty unlucky to lose your phone, or even have it stolen, and for whoever ends up with the device to also have your ‘fake’ finger. So, rather than ridicule Apple and it’s fingerprint scanner I think for once it deserves to be applauded.

In fact, I want more designers to add security features as standard to my devices. After all, any security’s better than no security – isn’t it.

– Dulcie –