No Fingerprint Scanner on the iPhone 8?

July 7, 2017         By: Steven Anderson

One of the greatest advances the iPhone ever made for mobile payments was the advent of the fingerprint scanner built right into the phone. It wasn’t necessarily new, but it was used to provide top-notch biometric security for users, a welcome development by any standard. A recent leak, meanwhile, revealed new information about the iPhone 8 that may represent a real shakeup.

The current word suggests that Apple may be planning to ditch the fingerprint scanner on the iPhone. That’s a huge blow to those who liked having that layer of biometric security to protect their mobile payment operations with Apple Pay and the like. However, there’s a new biometric sheriff in town—if this leak holds true—and now, the iPhone will be protected by 3D facial recognition system instead.

To support this, Apple is actively testing a new kind of whole-face scanning system, which it will then build into the new iPhone 8 upon its release. Backed up by a new kind of 3D sensor, it may ultimately produce not only facial recognition, but also iris scanning. With such a system in place, unlocking the phone goes to a matter of “a few hundred milliseconds”.

What’s more, the 3D scanner will be using more data points than the fingerprint scanner, which actually makes it more secure than its predecessor. It’s a point that may address some of the biggest problems seen with facial scanners so far, particularly those that can be fooled with photographs.

Granted, the notion of shoveling biometric data into an iPhone may seem to some like piling gold on the front lawn with a little sign saying “Gold: please don’t steal” next to it. Yet given the growth of Apple Pay over the last couple of years, having a better security system for a mobile device seems like a smart idea in general. Throw in the growth of mobile workforce operations, and the sheer amount of information we keep on our mobile devices to begin with, and more powerful security tools just make sense.

A better security system for the iPhone could be a major win for us all, so it’s a development to watch until the actual release of the iPhone 8, probably sometime this year.