New Apple Patent Could Allow Syncing of Touch ID Data

Touch IDApple has established a new patent for a system that could allow cloud-based syncing of Touch ID information, according to a TechCrunch article by Darrell Etherington. The system would allow for the biometric information collected by users’ Touch ID fingerprint sensors to be sent to another device, such as a payment terminal.
The system might at first raise some eyebrows among security experts, as it would seem to undercut one of the key security claims of the Touch ID system – that the user’s biometric data is stored only on the device itself, and thus unthreatened by breaches in the cloud. But Etherington notes that the new patent details multiple means of ensuring security, such as requiring users to authenticate via iCloud in advance of using the new system, or having the data from the secondary device sent back to the user’s primary device for authentication.
In any case, the new system could allow for some nice options for users and retailers alike. For example, it could allow Apple users to transmit their Touch ID data to a new device without having to enroll again; or, more importantly, an Apple Pay-enabled POS terminal could scan users’ fingers for authentication, allowing them to pay even if they don’t have their mobile devices on them.
With Apple aiming to roll out Apple Pay in China this year and possibly also in Europe and other countries, this new system could give it a little edge against its competitors.