Fingerprint Theft From Selfies

Could flashing the “peace” sign in photos lead to fingerprint data being stolen?


Fingerprint recognition technology is becoming widely available to verify identities, such as when logging on to smartphones, tablets and laptops.

The proliferation of mobile devices with high-quality cameras and social media sites where photographs can be easily posted is raising the risk of personal information being leaked, reports said. The National Institute of Informatics researchers were able to copy fingerprints based on photos taken by a digital camera nine feet away from the subject. “Just by casually making a peace sign…fingerprints can become widely available,” National Institute of Informatics researcher Isao Echizen said.

Fingerprint data can be recreated if fingerprints are in focus with strong lighting in a picture,” He added that advanced technology was not necessary and anyone could easily copy fingerprints. But NII says it has developed a transparent film containing titanium oxide that can be attached to fingers to hide prints, the reports said.

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