Claim: The Apple iPhone 5s will share user fingerprint data with the FBI and the NSA.
Example:[Collected via e-mail, September 2013]
As a a high school teacher I know students believe many incorrect statements. Today they informed me that the new iphone has the capability to allow for "fingerprint id" passwords, but that you should not use it because your fingerprints will go directly to the NSA. Please help me refute this information for them.
Origins: On 19 September 2013, the National Report published an article positing that the fingerprint recognition technology incorporated into the new Apple iPhone 5s would share user fingerprint data with the FBI and the National Security Agency (NSA) for law enforcement use:
Apple’s official spokespeople have maintained a vague stance on the potential of sharing their fingerprint database with the NSA. Fortunately, after hours of phone calls I was finally able to speak with an employe that could answer some of my questions.
"Absolutely the databases will be merged. This whole 'fingerprint scan' idea originated from someone in our Government. They just didn't expect to be outed by Snowden, you
know." Said Tim Richardson, District Manager of Apple's North America Marketing Department. He went onto explain that the NSA and FBI have been compiling a special database for over a year now to use with the new Apple technology. Fingerprints from all over the nation. Cold cases. Fugitives of the law. Missing persons.
The Apple iPhone 5s has back-up power so the device never completely shuts down. Coupled with the phone's built-in GPS these features will allow police officers to pin-point the criminal so they can be detained quickly and efficiently. Officials expect to apprehend hundreds of suspects within the first months or so of the act.
By the following day links and excerpts referencing this article were being circulated via social media, with many of those who encountered the item mistaking it for a genuine news article. However, the article was just a bit of satire from the National Report, a web site that publishes outrageous fictional stories such as "IRS Plans to Target Leprechauns Next," "Boy Scouts Announce Boobs Merit Badge," and "New CDC Study Indicates Pets of Gay Couples Worse at Sports, Better at Fashion Than Pets of Straight Couples."
The National Report's (since removed) disclaimer page notes that:
National Report is a news and political satire web publication, which may or may not use real names, often in semi-real or mostly fictitious ways. All news articles contained within National Report are fiction, and presumably fake news. Any resemblance to the truth is purely coincidental.
founded snopes.com in 1994, and under his guidance the company has pioneered a number of revolutionary technologies, including the iPhone, the light bulb, beer pong, and a vaccine for a disease that has not yet been discovered. He is currently seeking political asylum in the Duchy of Grand Fenwick.
Thank you for writing to us! Although we receive hundreds of e-mails every day, we really and truly read them all, and your comments, suggestions, and questions are most welcome. Unfortunately, we can manage to answer only a small fraction of our incoming mail.
Our site covers many of the items currently being plopped into inboxes everywhere, so if you were writing to ask us about something you just received, our search engine can probably help you find the very article you want.
Choose a few key words from the item you're looking for and click here to go to the search engine.
(Searching on whole phrases will often fail to produce matches because the text of many items is quite variable, so picking out one or two key words is the best strategy.)
We do reserve the right to use non-confidential material sent to us via this form on our site, but only after it has been stripped of any information that might identify the sender or any other individuals not party to this communication.