A drug dealer was identified by the UK’s South Wales Police using fingerprints in a WhatsApp photo. The UK police can search the contents of a person’s phone without a warrant if they are arrested. A phone from an arrested individual showed a photo of a palm-up hand holding ecstasy pills. The photo allowed the police to compare the prints to that of a potential suspect and it resulted in a positive match.
This has resulted in law enforcement agencies from all over the country to send photographs to South Wales Police to re-analyze them for other cases, as reported by BBC. This is the first arrest of this kind made in the UK. Even though this arrest is a good step, it makes you wonder about the security implications of high-resolution pictures from cameras we have in our pockets at all times.
They can be used to snag biometric data. Newer smartphone models have shown that it is possible to spoof fingerprint scanners by making a cast of the finger with something as simple as play-doh. It won’t be a huge stretch to say that someone can swipe fingerprints from a photo and then press them into a similar mold.
This is why many tech companies are now using different iterations of the technology and the devices make sure the finger is live by testing for a pulse or the presence of perspiration. Security is no joke. However, no form of security is absolute and there will always be people who will be able to break through. But, if you are on the wrong side of the law, you have a lot to worry about. With these new technologies, the chances of you posting incriminating evidence have gone way up.