Ever since Apple delivered an iPhone with Touch ID there have been all kinds of ways to defeat the sensor. There have been some elaborate (and expensive) methods from using 3-D printing to using Gummi Bears and everything in between. The folks from Chaos Computer Club recently demonstrated how easy it was to grab the German Defense Minister’s fingerprint through press photos. It’s not just Apple. The Samsung Galaxy S5 has a fingerprint sensor too.
Since it takes a lot of planning to lift a sample of your fingerprint, most people would think it is a pretty safe way to secure your smartphone. You might agree, but I wouldn’t recommend it. In fact, I wouldn’t recommend using any biometrics to secure a device. A Virginia Circuit Court Judge has ruled that you can be compelled to give up your fingerprint to unlock your device. Not so with a PIN. A PIN is considered “knowledge” and not something physical. So don’t spend that extra money just to get a fingerprint sensor that you probably shouldn’t use in the first place.