When Apple unveiled the iPhone 5s and its built-in fingerprint scanner you could almost feel conspiracy theorists around the world gearing up for an epic battle. We’ve already heard a number of—mostly disreputable—claims that Touch ID is not secure and that the information will be shared freely with the U.S. government for the sake of surveillance. Now these privacy fears may be getting a boost from a somewhat more reliable source, Anonymous.
The leaderless collective of online hackers and sympathizers lays out its argument in a Pastebin document and YouTube video, claiming that AuthenTec—the company Apple purchased to develop its fingerprint scanning technology—has direct ties to the U.S. government and specifically the NSA. A series of news articles and press releases draw a strong line between Touch ID and the U.S. government surveillance. Whether or not you believe Anonymous is up to you.
The group has made a name for itself in the past for acting rashly, and its leaderless state means every video or document it releases can be called into question. Apple clearly stated the Touch ID software would only store your fingerprint within the device, and any evidence to the contrary would be a huge blow to the company’s reputation. Then again, Apple was directly implicated in the NSA PRISM scandal along with most of the country’s biggest tech companies, so who knows what else it may be doing behind the scenes.