The Guardian: Major breach found in biometrics system used by banks, UK police and defence firms. “The fingerprints of over 1 million people, as well as facial recognition information, unencrypted usernames and passwords, and personal information of employees, was discovered on a publicly accessible database for a company used by the likes of the UK Metropolitan police, defence contractors and banks.”
Neowin: Google goes password-less for some web services through Android, more to come. “Google today announced that it is bringing the ability to use your fingerprint or other authentication methods instead of your password, on its own services. The feature will be available today to users on Pixel devices and will roll out to all devices running Android 7 Nougat or higher in the coming days.”
EurekAlert: How you lock your smartphone can reveal your age: UBC study . “Older smartphone users tend to rely more on their phones’ auto lock feature compared to younger users, a new UBC study has found. They also prefer using PINs over fingerprints to unlock their phones.” Guilty, though I use PINs instead of fingerprints because I think fingerprint security is bullshit.
New York Times: He Spent 36 Years Behind Bars. A Fingerprint Database Cleared Him in Hours.. “All it took was for technicians in a crime lab to run the fingerprints collected at the scene of a rape through a national database. Within hours, the experts had established a match with a serial rapist. But that was last week — almost four decades after the attack on Dec. 9, 1982, when a woman was raped and stabbed in her home in a well-to-do neighborhood in Baton Rouge, La. A different man, Archie Williams, went to prison for the crime, even though it was known at the trial that the fingerprints were not his.”
The Guardian: Fake fingerprints can imitate real ones in biometric systems – research. “Researchers have used a neural network to generate artificial fingerprints that work as a ‘master key’ for biometric identification systems and prove fake fingerprints can be created.”
Gizmodo: Cops in Wales Caught a Drug Dealer by IDing His Fingerprint from a WhatsApp Photo. “Police in Wales managed to arrest and convict a drug dealer by identifying his fingerprint from a photo posted on WhatsApp, a technique that the local law enforcement is calling ‘groundbreaking,’ according to the BBC.”
A little outside my remit, but cool: New tool allows smartphone camera to record fingerprints. “A new prototype biometric tool, designed by researchers in India, enables a smartphone camera to act as a fingerprint scanner. Saksham Gupta, Sukhan Anand and Atul Rai from Department of Computer Science at Delhi Technological University used an Android smartphone to extract fingerprints from close-up shots of a finger. The researchers used a 16MP camera with a 1920×1080 resolution to get the results.”