01:25 - Source: CNN
iPhone 5S comes with fingerprint scanner

Story highlights

The idea of handing over fingerprints to Apple via new iPhone 5S has some nervous

The phone will feature a fingerprint sensor in its Home button for added security

Apple: Fingerprint info will be encrypted and stored in your phone, not on our servers

Security expert: "Hackers will be certainly intrigued to see how they might circumvent" system

CNN —  

Given the privacy concerns swirling around much of our digital activity these days, the idea of handing over one’s fingerprints to Apple via its new iPhone 5S has some people nervous.

The phone, which goes on sale September 20, will feature a fingerprint sensor in its Home button for added security. Users must “register” their print with the device, after which they can unlock the phone by placing a finger or thumb on the button. The idea is that fingerprints, being unique to each person, augment users’ passcodes to offer an additional safeguard against hackers or thieves.

But can we trust Apple or its partners with our fingerprints? And couldn’t hackers, those resourceful and relentless probers of digital firewalls, find new ways to trick the phone’s sensor?

The answers, experts say, appear to be: 1) Probably, at least for now, and 2) Yes, although that’s unlikely.

“There should always be some concern with new technologies or functionality that has such a large base of users,” says Joe Schumacher, a consultant for security firm Neohapsis, in an e-mail to CNN. “The fingerprint reader is more of a sales tactic than a strong security enhancement.