January 12, 2017 -
A Japanese professor has discovered that people could potentially open themselves up to identity theft if they show their fingertips in a photo, according to a report by the Inquirer.net.
Isao Echizen, a professor at the National Institute of Informatics in Japan, performed a test where he was able to successfully obtain fingerprint data from photos that were taken up to 3 meters away from the person’s fingertips.
As the adoption rate of biometrics for identity authentication purposes rises, protecting one’s fingerprint data is now becoming a legitimate concern.
Though people can change their passwords when they are hacked, they cannot change their fingerprints since they are unique to each person, Echizen said.
He also added that celebrities may be at the highest risk considering the large number of photos available online that they are prominently featured in.
Echizen said that ‘regular people’ may be under the impression that they don’t need to protect their fingerprint data against hackers because they are not as important as celebrities.
However, he said that ‘regular people’ can still fall victim to ransom scams once their personal biometrics becomes compromised.