Touch ID in action

One of the first things that came to my mind when Apple officially unveiled Touch ID during last week’s iPhone event was that on top of getting your iPhone 5s stolen, you’re now at risk of getting your finger chopped off so the thief can unlock the device.

Worry not, because apparently, chopping your finger off wouldn’t allow anyone to actually get into your iPhone. Here is why…

As Mashable explains:

What we now know is that the iPhone’s Touch ID fingerprint sensor uses radio frequency scanning to detect the sub-epidermal layers of your skin, a dynamic that requires the owner of the finger to be alive and attached to the finger being used.

“The [RF capacitive sensor] technology is built in a way that the [fingerprint] image has to be taken from a live finger,” says Sebastien Taveau, chief technology officer at Validity Sensors, a California based provider of fingerprint sensor solutions. “No one in biometrics wants to talk about cut fingers and dead bodies, but at the end of the day we are still asked to remove the fears of consumer and make sure that they understand that [a severed finger] will not work.”

So here you have your explanation.

Now bookmark this post and should someone want to chop off your finger to get access to your iPhone, make sure sure they read this first. Or better yet, just offer to deactivate Touch ID and password protection. I don’t know about you but after spending 33 years with my fingers, I’d have a hard time adjusting to missing one.