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Is it possible to fool fingerprint readers? © iStock

Is it possible to fool fingerprint readers?

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Now why would you be asking a question like this?

Asked by: Mary Brooks, Canterbury

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It depends on the technology used within the fingerprint reader, but it is quite possible to trick many of them. Some will be fooled by a mould of your finger made out of the same gelatin as gummy bears – the gelatin has a similar electrical conductivity as your finger.

Some will be deceived by a fingerprint on a simple piece of sticky tape. Some are even outfoxed by a simple photocopied image of a fingerprint. Most are not aware if the owner of the finger is alive or dead. Like all security systems, fingerprint readers are not perfect.


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Authors

Dr Peter Bentley is a computer scientist and author who is based at University College London. He is the author of books including 10 Short Lessons in Artificial Intelligence and Robotics and Digital Biology: How nature is transforming our technology and our lives.

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