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Open sesame: How iOS 8 will unlock Touch ID's power

Marco Tabini | July 23, 2014
As iOS 8--and, presumably, new iPhone and iPad hardware--approaches its release day, big changes are on the horizon for Apple's Touch ID, a technology that has been met with less enthusiasm than it deserves.

That's not all, however. If you're still worried about Apple getting its corporate hands on your biometric hash, you'll be happy to hear that it never leaves your device: The Touch ID sensor is essentially wired directly into a special area of your iPhone's A7 CPU, called the "secure enclave," that encrypts it using a key that is baked right into the chip at the time of manufacture. The data never leaves the enclave, and could not be read even if someone were to physically gain access to your handset and take it apart.

Now for the bad news: There is no bad news. Despite widespread skepticism in the press, Apple has put a lot of thought into making Touch ID secure and easy to use — and, unless your finger normally rests on the big red button that unleashes America's nuclear arsenal, you should give it serious consideration as your authentication mechanism of choice.

 

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