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Apple Buys Fingerprint Security Company

A $356 million purchase could mean enhanced security features for Apple laptops and iOS products.

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Apple products may be getting a new security boost.

The technology giant just spent $356 million to buy mobile and network security business AuthenTec

The deal also gives Apple non-exclusive licenses to the company's technology and patent portfolio.

Most interesting, perhaps, are AuthenTec's fingerprint security sensors, which use the "live layer of skin beneath the skin's surface ... making them much harder to fool," according to ZDNet

Currently Apple doesn't have fingerprint readers in its products. But ZDNet notes that the readers are commonplace on the kinds of "enterprise-class" laptops bought by big companies, because the readers enhance security while avoiding password delays.

While the current deal provides for non-exclusive licenses, the acquisition could also hint at changes in the hardware market: ZDNet points out that AuthenTec currently supplies its security technology to several of Apple's hardware rivals.

Last updated: Jul 27, 2012

CAITLIN BERENS writes about business innovation and entrepreneurs. Before Inc., she worked at Billboard, SELF, and Better Homes and Gardens. She attended Drake University, and lives in Brooklyn, New York.
@CaitlinBerens




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