If you’ve ever wanted to know how the iPhone 5s’ Touch ID fingerprint security works beyond a basic overview, you’ll be glad to hear Apple has just delivered a motherlode of new details. An updated version of its iOS Security white paper (PDF) explains much of what happens to your finger data after you touch the sensor. In short, your information may be more hack-resistant than it seems at first glance. Each A7 chip has a unique secure space that neither the A7 nor Apple can read, and every authentication session is encrypted end-to-end. The company is also offering a deeper explanation of what it does with your fingerprint image, noting that the print only lasts in memory until it’s turned into a decryption key. As we’ve known for a while, there are safeguards that wipe out that key after 48 hours of inactivity, a reboot or five failed login attempts. While the new insights will only have so much usefulness whendevelopers can’t use Touch ID for their own apps, they suggest that there’s little to no chance of fingerprint theft or a large-scale data breach.
Looks like the rumors are true: iOS 7 beta 4 has leaked a new folder called “BiometricKitUI.” Based on the description, sent to us by Hamza Sood, it seems pretty clear that Apple is preparing a new iPhone with a fingerprint sensor. The interface is described above, pointing to a user being able to swipe the sensor on the iPhone’s home button.
Sood tells us that the above strings are what an iPhone with VoiceOver on would read to a user. The text:
Photo of a person holding an iPhone with their left hand while touching the Home button with their thumb_;A fingerprint that changes colour during the setup process._iPhoto of a person holding an iPhone with their right hand while touching the Home button with their thumb_Recognition is
According to a source familiar with the development of the new iPhone, the user-interface for the fingerprint scanning system has been complete. This person also says that the technology is focused around unlocking the phone, so it is unclear if it is built for a payment system (as rumored) in the next iPhone. We previously reported that Apple’s iWatch will include some biometric related hardware/software features.
Also coming in the new iPhone, likely to look like the iPhone 5, is an improved camera system, A7 processor, and perhaps some new voice and camera features.