Apple’s Touch ID Sparks Paranoia, Samsung S5 Unnoticed

Apple's Touch ID Sparks Paranoia

When Apple unveiled the Touch ID technology with the iPhone 5s, the announcement was met with a wave of skepticism and fear, suggesting that Apple might misuse the fingerprint data collected. Despite Apple’s robust security measures for Touch ID, the reaction among tech bloggers and even politicians like Senator Al Franken, who expressed his concerns to Tim Cook, was one of apprehension.

Senator Franken’s letter highlighted the unique and permanent nature of fingerprints, raising fears about potential misuse if such data were ever compromised.

Apple's Touch ID Sparks Paranoia

Moreover, numerous articles speculated on the various methods that could potentially bypass the security of Touch ID.

A particularly exaggerated reaction was seen in a Toronto Star article, which listed ten reasons why Touch ID was a poor idea.

Contrastingly, when Samsung introduced a similar fingerprint technology in the Galaxy S5, the response was markedly subdued. Despite Samsung allowing third-party access to the fingerprint sensor and partnering with PayPal for mobile payments, the feature did not ignite the same level of controversy.

Samsung’s approach was more open compared to Apple’s cautious strategy.

According to TechCrunch, Apple emphasized the security of its system, noting that fingerprint data was stored in a secure enclave within the A7 chip, inaccessible to other parts of the system or third-party apps.

The disparity in reactions raises questions, as noted by John Gruber, about why Apple’s security feature faced such scrutiny while Samsung’s similar feature did not. The debate highlights a peculiar inconsistency in public and media reactions to privacy concerns.

Apple’s future plans for Touch ID seem to include broader applications, particularly in mobile payments.


Anthony is a dedicated writer for TUAW, bringing readers the latest news and insights about Apple products. With a keen eye for detail, Anthony covers everything from the newest iPhone releases to the latest updates on the MacBook Pro and Apple Watch. His articles are known for their clarity and depth, making complex tech topics accessible to everyone. When he’s not writing, Anthony enjoys exploring new features on his iPad and staying ahead of the curve in the ever-evolving world of Apple technology.