Apple announced its new iPhone, featuring a fingerprint authentication system. Naturally the world responded with Gothic horror. Specifically, we all wondered about using severed fingers to get into (onto) someone else's phone.
First, there's the problem of which finger to harvest. Mother Jones wonders,
a thief would have no idea which finger you normally use and would therefore have to chop off both your hands to really be sure he had the right fingerprint.
Unfortunately for iGrand iGuignol fans, the proper if rogue finger must be attached to a living person. Says at least one technologist:
[Sebastien Taveau, CTO of Validity Sensors]: “No one in biometrics wants to talk about cut fingers and dead bodies, but at the end of the day we are still asked to remove the fears of consumer and make sure that they understand that [a severed finger] will not work."
How? According to another digital expert, by
detect[ing] the ridge and valley pattern of your fingerprint not from the layer of dead skin on the outside of your finger (which a fake finger can easily replicate), but from the living layer of skin under the surface of your finger, using an RF signal. That only works on a live finger; not one that's been severed from your body.
Could we sever the finger then keep it sufficiently fed with human blood? We wonder about such things at Infocult.
Temporarily setting aside gory horror, the Chaos Computing Club quickly figured out a different way. CCC shows us how to steal copy a victim's fingerprint, then attach it to an artificial finger.
Once again the (partial) doppelganger raises its head. Your head, or finger, to be precise. Now we enter the world of creepy simulacra.
Or we can skip the human species entirely, and employ a cat.
At still another level of horror, perhaps this identification setup will prevent people from taking the fifth amendment in American courts.