Apple Watch Security: How An Awesome New Feature Will Help Make CarKey Safe – Forbes
Touch ID on the Apple Watch could provide extra security for CarKey.
The Apple Watch is an extremely cool device, but it’s so far been missing an important security feature. Although the Apple Watch is secured with a PIN number to ensure no one but you can log in, it’s so far lacked the iPhone maker’s biometric authentication Touch ID.
But that could be about to change. According to a new report on Israeli site The Verifier, the next Apple Watch Series 6 due to lunch this fall could come with Touch ID integrated into the digital crown and, it seems, this new security feature might arrive at exactly the right time.
Anticipation has been building over the last month for the new Apple feature CarKey, which will allow you to unlock your car using your Apple Watch or iPhone. CarKey was expected to arrive with iOS 13.4, but the launch of Apple’s updated operating system last week was lacking the new feature.
Still, and despite COVID-19 delays hitting rivals Google and Microsoft, Apple will probably launch CarKey this year, perhaps with iOS 14. And when it does, the process will need to be super-secure.
Why CarKey needs robust authentication
My first thought upon hearing about CarKey, apart from the fact that it’s pretty awesome as a feature, was–what about authentication? Sure, you can unlock your MacBook now with your Apple Watch, to save yourself entering your password, but this as a feature is not really all that secure.
Although it’s thought you will be able to unlock your vehicle just by wearing your watch, it’d be more secure if you were required to enter your passcode. But the problem with this is, many people chose easy to guess passcodes, such as their date of birth. Some people use four digits instead of six–even though a longer PIN should be harder to guess.
But that’s where biometrics come in. Your fingerprint, or face, belong to you only. As long as Apple gets the technology right, this should be a pretty secure method of authenticating yourself.
We were first given the clue that Touch ID will arrive with the next Apple Watch when a patent was published last month. This indicated that Touch ID would be integrated into the digital crown of your smartwatch, which could read the fingerprint and compare it to a stored image.
The Verify’s report–which it has to be said, needs to be taken with a large pinch of salt–also suggests Apple is considering Touch ID integrated into the Apple Watch’s screen, and that this is earmarked for the Series 7 device so won’t be available for some time.
The patent is more likely to reflect the reality of Touch ID in Apple’s next smartwatch. Whatever form it takes, if Apple gives you the ability to able to conveniently unlock your car using your Apple Watch, Touch ID would add the extra level of security that’s needed.