Using your sleeping mom's fingerprint to buy Pokemon presents is definitely something that isn't common. But that is exactly what happened just days before Christmas when 6-year old Ashlynd, from Arkansas, ordered about 13 Pokemon gifts for herself on Amazon. Her parents had believed that their Amazon account was hacked, but their daughter told them that she was "shopping". On the bright side, she did reassure her parents that she at least got the shipping address correct. These 13 Pokemon gifts that Ashlynd ordered cost her parents around $250 total, so it wasn't a cheap "shopping" trip for her.
Ashlynd's mother, Bethany Howell, was a bit upset as you would expect. And reportedly told her daughter that Santa Claus found out what she did, and informed her that she wouldn't be getting all of her gifts. The way that Ashlynd was able to do this was quite simple actually. Simply touched her mom's iPhone to her finger while she was asleep on the couch, and the fingerprint sensor recognized the finger and unlocked it. So it appears that fingerprint sensors are not as secure as everyone thought they were – even though many security experts have said that they aren't much more secure than a PIN or password. This isn't unique to the iPhone either, it can be done with Android or any other smartphone with a fingerprint sensor. Seeing as the finger is still "alive", it will register correctly on the fingerprint sensor.
Howell told The Wall Street Journal that she was only able to return four of the 13 Pokemon gifts that her daughter bought on Amazon. Hopefully the company will allow her to return the remaining gifts when they ship to their house. This isn't the first time that a child has bought things – either physical or digital goods – without their parents knowing, and it most likely won't be the last time. Google, Facebook, Apple and Amazon have all faced several class action lawsuits in regards to in-app purchases, and it has cost them billions. The companies have worked to make it a bit more difficult for kids to purchase items without their parents knowledge, but it appears that there is still a bit to go.