In theory, fingerprints sound like a great data security measure to protect your phone with. You do not have to burden yourself with having to remember a password, as you always have your fingers with you. Although this kind of solution is undoubtedly convenient, is it really a good idea?
Big corporations such as Microsoft and Apple want their customers to use their faces, eyes, and fingerprints as digital keys. A biometric signature such as one of these is used instead of a traditional password to unlock a phone, access an online account, or authorise a payment.
However, the convenience comes at a price. While it is true that hackers will not exactly cut off your finger, they can steal a digital representation of your fingerprint. The stolen digital key can then be used to unlock all of your assets protected with it.
Typically, you would want to differentiate the passwords on different websites. That way, if one of them gets compromised, hackers would be unable to access your other accounts. With a biometric digital key, however, you may not have that luxury.
There are other potential complications associated with it. The police, for example, may have an extended range of legal powers to make you unlock your phone.
Marcia Hofmann, an attorney from San Francisco, commented that there is an important legal distinction between something you know and something you possess. While you cannot be forced to reveal something like a combination of a safe, the Court can force you to hand over a physical object like a key that unlocks a door.