How Easy Is It To Steal Your Fingerprints?

Let’s admit it, we’ve all taken pictures while making a peace sign or a thumbs up and sent it to a friend or decided to post it on Instagram, harmless, right? Well, you may have given all of your followers or your friend the password to your device without even knowing! Now many of our devices allow you to use your fingerprint as a way to unlock your phone, but your camera could allow others access your devices. Pictures taken from smartphones are so detailed that they can pick up your fingerprints! Although you may think that they can only notice the fingerprints when you take a selfie, you may want to think again. Your fingerprints can be retrieved from pictures that have been taken up to ten feet away.  

Image result for girl taking selfie

If you think that none of your followers could have the technology to steal your fingerprints, you may be frightened to hear it’s easier than you would think, I know I was. Professor Isao Echizen from Japan’s National Institute of Informatics explains that, “your fingerprint data can be recreated if fingerprints are in focus with strong lighting,”. By compiling photos, or even just using one, thieves can recreate your fingerprints and hack into your devices, all they need is good lighting and a focus on your fingers. However, for me, the scariest part of stealing your fingerprints is that they, unlike passwords cannot be changed, we’re stuck with them forever! The thought that a harmless picture could give someone the password to all of my devices, forever, makes me think twice every time I go to make a peace sign or thumbs up in a picture. However, I think I’m just not going to do a peace sign or thumbs up in any picture I take, it’s not worth the risk. And just think about how easy it’ll be to steal your fingerprints in the future!

~Isabella

PhoneBloks A Phone Worth Keeping

Millions of electronics are thrown out because they are old or worn out and aren’t reusable. Electronic waste is rising and becoming one of the fastest growing waste streams on the planet. Now you may ask why it is growing so fast. The culprit of this disaster is most likely in your pocket. Are you surprised that your phone is the number one cause for electronic waste? You shouldn’t be. The roughly 7 billion people in the world get a new phone every 2 years. To solve this problem Dave Hakkens came up with a concept phone or an idea. It’s called PhoneBloks and uses the idea of an upgradeable phone. A Phoneblok is made of detachable bloks. There is a base that connects all the other bloks and with two simple screws it locks everything together into a solid phone. The idea is that if your phone is running slow that you can just upgrade the block effecting the speed. Also, this idea will allow you to truly customize your phone. If you like to take pictures, then get a bigger camera blok. If you want to keep it simple, then you can get a larger battery blok and a smaller camera. Finally there could be a blok store that would  sell all these different bloks. You could pick and choose from large name brands like Sony or Canon. You could even buy from small businesses that are trying to get there name on the big screens. All of the possibilities are endless with the PhoneBloks.

Personally, I believe this idea could be the next Apple IPhone or Samsung Galaxy if the right CEO’s and companies get involved. Dave Hakkens wants as many people to spread this around and create a roar to show CEO’s and companies the possibilities of PhoneBloks. You can join the Thunderclap and spread the word. On October 29th, 2013 he is going to send out the roar and encourages all to talk, tweet, post, etc. to show the world the promise of PhoneBloks. I believe that this is going to have a large impact on the electronic waste and helping the environment for the good. Join the roar and spread the word for a better phone, for you and the environment. PhoneBloks, a phone worth keeping.

~Nick Nieves