Sen. Al Franken is concerned that Apple's implementation of fingerprint recognition technology in the new iPhone 5S could open the door for hackers to "identify and impersonate you for the rest of your life."
The iPhone 5S, released Friday, includes a fingerprint sensor that can replace a passcode for the phone's security lock. Franken's concern is that passwords can be changed if a phone is hacked, but fingerprints are "public and permanent."
"It's clear to me that Apple has made a good-faith effort to secure this technology and implement it responsibly," Franken said. "At the same time, this new ground-breaking technology raises important privacy questions for millions of users in Minnesota and around the country. I've written to Apple to begin a conversation to help ensure customers can have a better understanding of how their privacy is being safeguarded and to help ensure it's safeguarded in the future."
You can read a copy of Franken's letter to Apple at http://1.usa.gov/18g4BCK
"Passwords are secret and dynamic; fingerprints are public and permanent," Franken wrote in the latter. "If you don't tell anyone your password, no one will know what it is. If someone hacks your password, you can change it -- as many times as you want. You can't change your fingerprints. You have only ten of them. And you leave them on everything you touch; they are definitely not a secret. What's more, a password doesn't uniquely identify its owner -- a fingerprint does. Let me put it this way: if hackers get a hold of your thumbprint, they could use it to identify and impersonate you for the rest of your life."