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HTC clarifies its security precautions for the fingerprints collected by the One max

Posted: , by Daniel P.

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HTC clarifies its security precautions for the fingerprints collected by the One max
Just like Apple thought long and hard how to sandbox the fingerprint algorithm that its new Touch ID technology is using to unlock the iPhone 5s or authorize iTunes purchases, so did HTC when it decided to put a scanner on the back of the One max.

HTC's first phablet features a small square on the back that unlocks the phone when you swipe down your index finger on it, or whatever other finger you have authorized to do so, as you can do up to three other fingers to launch different apps directly from the lock screen. A pretty neat idea hinting that biometrics are one of the ways to get around the aging identification methods like passwords or patterns we mostly use now.

There are, naturally, privacy concerns with the fingerprint storage technology, and we probed HTC several questions about the One max, one of which was precisely about the scanner on its rear. Here's HTC's answer to allay your worries:


PhoneArena: How do you store the fingerprint data? Is it stored in a secure "enclave" inside the chipset, similarly to how Apple stores fingerprint data with the iPhone 5s? Does HTC have access to the fingerprint data stored by users on their One max phones? Is it possible for HTC to share this data with third-parties?

HTC: The fingerprint data is stored in local memory. It is encrypted and stored in the system partition, which can’t be readily accessed or copied. The fingerprint data is not an actual image but fingerprint characteristics that have been identified by a proprietary algorithm. No, HTC does not have access to the information and the fingerprint cannot be used by a third party.

There you have it, for those of you who were intrigued how HTC addressed the fingerprint safekeeping situation on its first phablet, the One max. Fingerprint sensors are apparently gaining in popularity with a bunch of companies big and small introducing them on their phones and tablets, so we'd better get used to the convenience they offer, but keep an watchful eye on the way the prints are handled by each maker. There are plenty of ways to leverage the fingerprint identification method still, on which you can read in our dedicated article.

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posted on 15 Oct 2013, 02:04 10

1. tiara6918 (Posts: 1490; Member since: 26 Apr 2012)


PA got answered by htc? Can you ask htc why they only had a 1.7 ghz snapdragon 600 to power the device? Btw, nice q&a for the fingerprint scanner

posted on 15 Oct 2013, 10:18 1

9. ZPM101 (Posts: 27; Member since: 12 Apr 2010)


HTC has already answered those questions. To save in construction costs and to extend battery life. It's anyone's guess if this will impact performance or battery life on a daily driver basis. i was looking forward to this device, but after the last few days, I might have to reconsider. We'll all have to wait and see the final retail iteration.

posted on 16 Oct 2013, 15:06

12. Larry_ThaGr81 (Posts: 294; Member since: 26 May 2011)


Sounds more like it's all about saving money on the production process and we as potential consumers just happen to benefit from what they say will offer better battery life than a snapdragon 800 processor.

I can imagine that they've already placed large orders for the snapdragon 600 processors and since the HTC One isn't selling particularly well, why not just use what you already have and make as few tweaks as possible to market a new product towards a different market. This may be one of the smarter moves they've made in years compared to teaming up with Dr. Dre and Facebook for marketing purposes.

posted on 15 Oct 2013, 02:09 2

2. ScottSchneider (Posts: 322; Member since: 06 Dec 2011)


So if some one steals an iPhone 5s they would require the owners thumb (default). But if they steal a HTC One Max they have the option of riping off any one of the 5 fingers (depending on whether you are a lefty or a righty)... Nice options... Or they can just ask you to unlock it for them...

posted on 15 Oct 2013, 09:53 1

8. g2a5b0e (Posts: 2550; Member since: 08 Jun 2012)


No. Touch ID works with any finger.

posted on 15 Oct 2013, 13:26

10. User72042 (Posts: 23; Member since: 30 Sep 2013)


No,It doesn't,Just works with 2 Fingers,I have Touch ID on my iPhone 5s.

posted on 15 Oct 2013, 14:23

11. g2a5b0e (Posts: 2550; Member since: 08 Jun 2012)


Perhaps you misunderstood. It takes the fingerprints of two fingers, but you can use ANY two fingers.

posted on 15 Oct 2013, 03:19

3. itsdeepak4u2000 (Posts: 2775; Member since: 03 Nov 2012)


Very nice.

posted on 15 Oct 2013, 03:20

4. bugsbunny00 (Posts: 1239; Member since: 07 Jun 2013)


this unlocking is just like those HP pavilions with fingerprint scan.

posted on 15 Oct 2013, 04:02

5. konnor (Posts: 30; Member since: 25 Apr 2013)


So it's stored in flash, instead of on the chip like Apple does it? That seems less secure.

posted on 15 Oct 2013, 04:28

6. sunnyfpy (Posts: 57; Member since: 12 May 2013)


How about Retina scan??

posted on 15 Oct 2013, 08:16

7. newbey123 (Posts: 446; Member since: 19 Mar 2012)


That;s good to know. Though it was not going to stop me from picking up this beast. Hope it comes to AT&T fast, or have to import.

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