Some experts believe biometric systems can be cracked with enough determination.
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SAN FRANCISCO: It sounds like a great idea: Forget passwords, and instead lock your phone or computer with your fingerprint. It's a convenient form of security – though it's also perhaps not as safe as you'd think.There are drawbacks: Hackers could still steal your fingerprint – or its digital representation.Far too many people choose weak and easily guessed passwords like "123456" or "password".The phone's owner was dead, but police had the owner's fingerprints on file. Jain and two associates made a digital copy of the prints, enhanced them and then printed them out with special ink that mimics the conductive properties of human skin.Some experts believe any biometric system can be cracked with sufficient determination. All it takes are simulated images of a person's fingerprint, face or even iris pattern. And if someone manages that, you can't exactly change your fingerprint or facial features as you would a stolen password.There's a legal distinction between something you know, like a password, and something you possess, like a physical key or a fingerprint, said Marcia Hofmann, a San Francisco attorney who specializes in privacy and computer security.
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