PinePhone is currently prototyping a fingerprint scanner that goes on the back of the phone. I’m just curious, how important would a dedicated killswitch be for you?

Also, a bit of a tangent, but how do you feel about the fact that the killswitches are hidden behind the back cover instead of easily reachable on the side like the Librem?

@federico3
12M

What’s the point? Unlike modems, cameras, microphones, the fingerprint scanner is not going to do much until you put a finger on it.

Big hardware buttons to block cameras and mute microphones would be nice.

@AgreeableLandscape
admin
creator
0
edit-2
2M

Problem is that the fingerprint scanner is often on the power button or under the touchscreen.

A properly secure fingerprint scanner implementation on a phone is never supposed to send the fingerprint to anywhere outside the device (and ideally it should be in a secure enclave on the processor), but I guess your confidence in it depends on how much you trust that there aren’t backdoors or security flaws. I wonder if there are any open source fingerprint scanner firmware/drivers though.

@federico3
12M

fingerprint scanner that goes on the back of the phone

poVoq
14M

Do you think there is any significant overlap of users of the kill-switches and those utilizing a pure convenience feature (with net-negative security implications) such as fingerprint readers?

@AgreeableLandscape
admin
creator
2
edit-2
4M

FIngerprint scanners do have one benefit, in that it’s immune to people looking over your shoulder. With a four or six number PIN, it’s trivial to glance at someone’s phone and immediately see the numbers, and it can also be caught on video cameras.

Halce
mod
04M

Yes, a ‘kill switch’ would be good to have.

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