Apple

New IPhone's Fingerprint Scan Could Replace Passwords

Data would be stored on device, not in cloud

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Apple has unveiled its smartphone's latest weapon: a fingerprint reader it's calling Touch ID.

With its move, Apple could end up making the technology commonplace, as rivals might feel compelled to follow suit. It could be only a matter of time before passwords and passcodes are relegated to yesteryear.

In making the iPhone 5S one of the first mainstream smartphones in the Western market to include hardware security, Apple has not only declared war on passwords and weak security, but it has begun to reinvent the notion of device and online identity.

The iPhone 5S' fingerprint reader will act as a first line of defense against would-be thieves and hackers—even intelligence agencies, to a degree—against identity and content theft, fraud, and surveillance.