/// Fingerprint Confidential

September 25, 2013  |  All Things Digital

Q: I want to buy an iPhone 5S, but how can I disable the fingerprint-recognition feature so it doesn’t send my prints over the Internet where somebody might steal them? A: First of all, the fingerprint-recognition feature, which allows you to unlock your phone with just a touch instead of a password, is off by default. Unless you turn it on and then train it to recognize your fingers, it doesn’t operate and you can just keep typing in a password, or use no lock method at all. Secondly, Apple says the fingerprint data never leaves your phone, never goes onto the Internet and never even is backed up to the cloud. Instead, Apple says, it is stored in a secure area of the phone’s processor chip, and the scanner checks with this stored data—not with any online database—to decide whether your finger matches the stored parameters. Q: I notice that on the new iPhone operating system, the phone downloads many more emails at one time, making it much more difficult to mark them as read. Is there a way around this? A: Yes.

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