Just when we got accustomed to see smartphones with fingerprint sensors aboard, a new information emerged that could make us rethink that security system. Researchers from Japan’s National Institute of Informatics found a way to extract fingerprints from selfies and use them to make copies #biomagic
A team from NII has developed a software that’s good enough to extract fingerprints markers from selfies. As phone cameras’ power to capture detail has increased, so did the possibility of replicating fingerprints from markers seen in photos taken with them. This time, scientists actually took those details and made replicas of them. The achievement shows anyone could use similar tech to steal a user’s identity.
The discovery is very alarming, considering most phones feature only this type of biometric identification and at least in Japan, young people are keen on posing with the two-fingers peace sign. Researchers are working on a finger cover that will prevent replication but it’s expected to hit the market in 2-3 years. Even then, how many selfie-takers will bother to cover up their fingers for the camera?
A better way to protect yourself while taking a selfie is by using a smartphone with iris scanning as a way of authentication. A next-gen iris recognition technology with liveness and spoof detection, immune to movement and shake like the one from FotoNation would make identity theft almost impossible.
Let’s just hope manufacturers let the fingerprint recognition trend die while it’s still time.