No joke: Sen. Al Franken wants to know more about the fingerprint scanner on the Samsung Galaxy S5

No joke: Sen. Al Franken wants to know more about the fingerprint scanner on the Samsung Galaxy S5
Al Franken might be a Senator from Minnesota, but most of you might remember him from his days as a Saturday Night Live funnyman. Or perhaps the mere mention of his name brings to mind the gorilla trainer role he had in the Eddie Murphy-Dan Akroyd film Trading Places. Now a politician, Franken seems to have a thing about fingerprint scanners. When the Apple iPhone 5s rolled out with Touch ID last September, Franken wanted to hear more from Apple about whether the fingerprints obtained by the iPhone are stored by Apple.

Now, it is Samsung's turn to face the wrath of Franken. In a letter written to the company abut the fingerprint scanner on the Samsung Galaxy S5, the Senator asks a number of questions about where the fingerprint data will be stored, and if third parties will have the opportunity to (pardon the pun) get their hands on this information. Franken also points out the difference between Touch ID and Sammy's biometric feature. While Touch ID allows five failed attempts before a password prompt appears, Samsung's fingerprint scanner allows for unlimited attempts.

Franken also points out that while Touch ID is used to unlock an iPhone and open certain Apple apps, the Galaxy S5 scanner can be used in lieu of a password. That means that a hacker might be able to steal your identity and secure a Pay Pal transfer to his account by using your hijacked fingerprint data.


The Senator wants to know what Samsung's future plans are for the biometric security feature, and wants Samsung to assure that it won't do anything improper with information generated by the fingerprint scanner. If you read through Franken's letter (you can read it in its entirety on Franken's U.S. Senate website) you get the feeling that this is a serious matter for him. Identity fraud is nothing to joke about.

source: U.S.Senate (Al Franken) via AndroidCentral

Related phones

Galaxy S5
  • Display 5.1 inches
    1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Camera 16 MP (Single camera)
    2.1 MP front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon 801, 2GB RAM
  • Storage 32GB, microSDXC
  • Battery 2800 mAh
  • OS Android 6.0 Marshmallow
    Samsung TouchWiz UI

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