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.
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!