Still, it's unlikely that a wave of machete-wielding muggers is about to hit our cities, especially since most cell phone thefts occur in public settings, where violence would attract unwanted attention and raise the possibility of much more severe legal penalties. Besides, Apple's sensor might work only when touched by a real finger--for example, by checking for normal blood flow.
Ultimately, the addition of a biometric sensor to the iPhone could be a huge benefit for users and app developers alike. Given an appropriate set of privacy protection measures, it could greatly strengthen the security of everything from tweeting to banking--and make our phones less attractive targets for theft.
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