Two UK banks now allowing mobile app login using Touch ID

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Two UK banks–Royal Bank of Scotland and Nat West–are now allowing customers to login to their mobile banking apps using Touch ID, reports the BBC. The updated RBS app is expected to hit today, with the Nat West one following tomorrow.

RBS and NatWest customers must activate the feature with their security information, but would only need to use Apple’s Touch ID thereafter.

The banks–owned by the same parent company–said that use of Touch ID is subject to a number of security safeguards …  Read more

Rumor says Touch ID coming to MacBooks and Magic Mouse/Trackpad for Apple Pay, but there are roadblocks

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When Apple develops a new technology or feature for its hardware, it typically rolls it out on one product then expands it to the rest of the line. For example, Touch ID launched for the iPhone in 2013 and made its way to the iPad with the iPad Air 2 in 2014. For 2015, Touch ID may make its debut on the Mac, according to a rumor from website apple.club.tw. According to the blog, which published legitimate photos of iPad Air 2 Touch ID and A8X chip components last fall, Touch ID will come to Macs this year to enable Apple Pay functionality…

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Apple Pay China expansion reportedly stalled by ChinaUnion, regulators

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We learned last fall that Apple plans to bring Apple Pay to China by partnering with UnionPay. Code found within iOS pointed to Apple preparing its mobile payment service for China while MarketWatch reported Apple was working on a deal with the institution. Several months later, however, MarketWatch now reports that Apple is “struggling with its relationship with UnionPay,” adding that Apple has not yet established an agreement it hoped to reach by March. Read more

KGI: Apple to upgrade Touch ID sensor in next iPhone, expects over a quarter of a billion units in 2015

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KGI is out with a new report today predicting both a large rise in the number of Touch ID sensors shipped this year as well as an improved version of the biometric security reader for the next version of the iPhone. “We raise our 2015F shipments of Touch ID (fingerprint recognition) module by 12.4% to 262mn sets, up 77% YoY.” As for the updated Touch ID sensor, the improved version is believed to offer more reliable reads and better security as Apple continues to push Apple Pay, it’s recently launched mobile payment service: Read more

You can now unlock Google Docs, Slides and Sheets for iOS with Touch ID

Google is on a roll this week with updating its iOS apps. Yesterday we saw Chrome for iPhone and iPad pick up a big update bringing Material Design to the browser and adopting Handoff support with OS X Yosemite. Following Chrome’s release, Google today shared new versions of its Docs, Slides, and Sheets apps for iPhone and iPad taking advantage of another Apple technology: Touch ID.

Beginning with Docs version 1.2.6448, Slides version 1.0.5754, and Sheets version 1.1.7297, iPhone and iPad users can now lock and unlock each app using the Touch ID fingerprint scanner as an alternative to the passcode lock screen. Read more

Touch ID hackers attempt to take things to next level, no need for physical fingerprint

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The hacker who successfully used a fingerprint captured from an iPhone to fool Touch ID now believes it may be possible to perform the same hack without needing access to a physical fingerprint. Speaking at this year’s Chaos Computer Club convention, Jan Krissler – who uses the alias Starbug – demonstrated how a fingerprint can be generated from a series of ordinary photographs of someone’s finger …  Read more

Google Drive for iOS adds Touch ID unlocking, video saving, iPhone 6/Plus support, more

In addition to updating its Maps app with an overhauled design, Google has released a new version of its Drive app for iPhone and iPad users adding support for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus as well as some new iOS 8 features.

The Google Drive file storage app can now be secured using Touch ID so users with supported devices (iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone Plus, iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3) can unlock the app using the fingerprint scanner. The new version of Drive also includes an extension to “open form and save to Drive in other apps” for iOS 8 users, and videos can now be saved from Drive to the Photos app (instructions below). Google says the new version of Drive for iPhone and iPad also includes full iOS 8 compatibility, bug fixes, and performance improvements.

Google Drive 3.3 for iPhone and iPad is available for free on the App Store. Full change log below. Read more

Passcode vs. Touch ID: A Legal Analysis

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[Ed. note: Jason Stern is a Criminal Defense Attorney in private practice in New York City]

8:34 am. A college professor receives a text message threatening to blow up the history building. The professor immediately contacts law enforcement, who trace the origin of the call to a student who lives off-campus.

When FBI agents arrive at the student’s residence, they arrest the student and seize his smartphone. In an attempt to search the device to recover evidence of the crime (and perhaps stop other related crimes), they find the smartphone is protected by fingerprint security measures.

With the suspect in handcuffs, the agent swipes the student’s finger across the phone to access his call history and messages. Once the FBI swipes the suspect’s finger and bypasses the biometric security, the phone asks for the student’s passcode. The FBI agent asks for his password but the student refuses to speak. How can the FBI agent access the phone? Whereas a fictional Federal Agent like Jack Bauer would simply pull out his gun, jam it in the suspect’s mouth and scream, “WHERE IS THE BOMB?”, in our example, the FBI agent would hit the proverbial brick wall.

Yes, the phone could be brought back to the lab for analysis and hacking by forensics personnel, but the suspect in this case could not be forced to disclose the password on the phone… Read more

U.S. court rules that phone passcodes are protected by the 5th Amendment, but fingerprints aren’t

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While Touch ID makes sense for most of us as a secure and convenient way to protect our phones, there is one group of people who may want to stick to good old-fashioned passcodes: criminals.

A Virginia District Court has ruled that while phone passcodes are protected by the 5th Amendment, which says that those accused of crimes cannot be compelled to incriminate themselves, there is no such protection against using a suspect’s fingerprint to unlock a phone …  Read more

1Password for iOS updated w/ Touch ID lock screen improvements & more

Apple SVP Craig Federighi featuring 1Password at October Apple event

Apple SVP Craig Federighi featuring 1Password at October Apple event

Apple gave a prominent shoutout to the 1Password secure wallet app earlier this month when Craig Federighi, who leads the OS X and iOS teams, mentioned the password management app’s support for Touch ID in an iOS 8 review on stage. AgileBits, the developers behind 1Password, mentioned the shoutout in their latest release notes for an updated version of the iPhone and iPad app which brings a list of new improvements.

The latest version of 1Password for iPhone and iPad brings an improvement to the app’s lock screen when using Touch ID. Specifically, 1Password now moves the lock out of the way when using Touch ID as seen on stage in Federighi’s demonstration. This change means users unlocking 1Password to access stored passwords using the Touch ID fingerprint scanner can see more of the lock screen artwork. The update also brings speak improvements to the lock screen as well as folder syncing improvements for iCloud users and additional improvements.

1Password for iPhone and iPad is available for free on the App Store (a $9.99 in-app purchase unlocks pro features), and you can read the latest change log below. Read more