Apple granted patents covering secure biometric data processing systems

June 9, 2016 - 

Apple Inc has been granted a series of 45 U.S. patents, which include methods and technologies involving one of the original Touch ID inventions regarding on-chip security against fraud, tampering and viruses, according to a report by Patently Apple.

U.S. patent #9,361,440, originally filed in Q4 2007 and published Tuesday by the US Patent and Trademark Office, covers Apple’s invention relating to secure data processing.

In particular, the patent covers the processes and apparatus for securely using resources outside of a secure biometric data acquisition system to help with storage and processing of acquired user biometric data.

The patent credits the inventor as Alan Kramer who has previously invented patents for Apple, Authentec, STMicroelectronics, Whirlpool, Bank of America and several others.

Other biometric systems often employ methods to protect the acquired biometric image data, enrolled data, and the comparison and analysis process — typically stored and processed on special hardware — from fraud and inappropriate meddling and use.

These protection measures usually involve separating the secure biometric data acquisition, storage, and analysis components from the host system’s processor and memory.

This can be problematic as these are not always secure, making them open to online attacks like computer viruses and other hacking techniques.

Secure biometric data processing systems, whose comparison and analysis process is implemented on specialized hardware resources, are protected from compromise by computer viruses and other security attacks.

Any data provided by data processing systems outside of these secure systems may have been interfered with, contain viruses, or otherwise be tampered in a way that a biometric match result can not be trusted.

Apple’s invention provides solutions that address these concerns regarding untrusted data.

Previously reported, Apple was granted a U.S. patent entitled “Force-Sensitive Fingerprint Sensing Input“, which will expand the Touch ID home button’s functionality.

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About Justin Lee

Justin Lee has been a contributor with Biometric Update since 2014. Previously, he was a staff writer for web hosting magazine and website, theWHIR. For more than a decade, Justin has written for various publications on issues relating to technology, arts and culture, and entertainment. Follow him on Twitter @BiometricJustin.