Fingerprint Cards AB (FINGB) and Precise Biometrics AB (PREC) slumped more than 30 percent in Stockholm trading because of concerns over the safety of biometrics amid claims the sensors on Apple Inc.’s (AAPL) latest iPhone can be hacked.
Fingerprint lost as much as 36 percent to 41.2 kronor, its steepest drop since July 10 2012. The stock fell 14 percent to 55.50 kronor as of 2:50 p.m. local time, with trading volume at more than five times the daily average in the past three months. Shares of Precise Biometrics declined as much as 34 percent to 2.28 kronor, their biggest drop since December 1999. The stock decreased 18 percent to 2.83 kronor at 2:50 p.m.
The U.K.’s Guardian newspaper reported today that a group known as Germany’s Chaos Computer Club claims to have cracked the technology used in the iPhone 5S, using a photograph of a user’s fingerprint on a glass surface to create a fake print on a plastic film to unlock the phone.
“Do you think its easy to first take a high-resolution picture of your fingerprint and then steal your mobile?” Fingerprint Cards Chief Executive Officer Johan Carlstroem said in a telephone interview today. “Wouldn’t it be better to pick up a gun and press it against your temple and ask you to unlock it?”
Fingerprint Cards and Precise Biometrics have soared more than fivefold since the end of last year through Sept. 20, partly because of predictions that all smartphones will eventually be equipped with fingerprint technology after Apple added such sensors to its iPhone 5S. Fingerprint said today it expects “all Tier 1 smartphone OEMs will have a capacitive fingerprint sensor in their flagship models by the end of 2014.”
The company also said it plans to take 60 percent of the market for touch sensors in smartphones, excluding Apple’s, in 2014 and 2015. Fingerprint said it forecasts that the market for integrated sensors in consumer electronics will exceed 500 million units in 2014 and more than 3 billion units in 2015.
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