Apple is aware of the price of innovation; people will often criticize new technology and find the negatives. However, the company doesn’t seem to be worried, and is instead choosing to quash the criticism by pointing out that its new Touch ID feature is not perfect. On Wednesday, an Apple spokesperson reached out to The Wall Street Journal with more details about the technology, which will allow iPhone 5S users to unlock their iPhones, and even authorize iTunes purchases. The spokesperson noted that Touch ID will not be storing images of a user’s fingerprint, it will only store the data used to identify the fingerprint.
This is something some of the executives at Apple’s media event stressed repeatedly, that user information will be safe and not stored anywhere. The Apple spokesperson also mentioned to WSJ that users of the Touch ID feature will have to enter a passcode as a backup. This passcode will be used if the iPhone is rebooted or hasn’t been unlocked for 48 hours, which then stops thieves from being able to buy time as they figure out a way to unlock and restore the iPhone.
One of the most important items mentioned about Touch ID is that it does not work too well with sweaty fingers, which prevents the scanner from being able to read your finger fully. Users with fingers scarred by accidents or surgery may also have issues scanning, though another finger will work as well.
It is possible Apple will allow developers to take advantage of the the Touch ID feature in the future for their own apps. At this point, it remains a limited feature on the iPhone 5s.