The Samsung Galaxy S5 has a fingerprint scanner built into the home button, which will be available to third party developers. Samsung announced the third party developer platform during Mobile World Congress this year. This is different from Apple’s policy of locking down their own fingerprint sensor technology.
Apple emphasized the security of its fingerprint information collected by the iPhone 5s scanner hardware. Apple keeps the data of the fingerprint sensor in a “secure enclave” within the A7 system-on-a-chip and communicates to other services only as an encrypted alias that conveys no sensitive data. It is unknown how Samsung is storing and transmitting fingerprint information to applications.
Samsung has a partnership in place with PayPal to use fingerprints for payment verification to make purchases. Apple also uses fingerprints with iTunes, but this is controlled by the iPhone maker itself.
Samsung has released documentation for the new Pass API containing fingerprint sensor information. The new APIs are made available by Samsung in the Samsung Galaxy S5 SDK for accessing remote sensors, S Health, accessory device connections, and file transfers between the devices. Developers can use the API to access this functionality:
– Request fingerprint recognition
– Cancel fingerprint recognition requests
– Verify whether the fingerprint of the current user matches the fingerprint registered on the device
– Register fingerprints through the Enroll screen