Smartphone camera may offer simple encryption solution against NSA snooping


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Your smartphone camera’s unique noisy pixelations might be the key to smartphone security, especially if you’re seeking to hide your data from the eyes of the NSA, who can decode practically all versions of security cryptography.

Since computing technology has a hard time finding reliable, random chaos, a smartphone camera can be the perfect solution since it’s a simple, fast source for chaos in the form of a light reader. It’s quantum physics, but for mobile users.

Today, Bruno Sanguinetti and pals at the University of Geneva in Switzerland have worked out how to generate random numbers on an ordinary smartphone using genuine quantum processes. And they say their new technique can produce random numbers at the rate of 1 megabit per second, more than enough for most security applications.

The quantum process that these guys exploit is the way light sources emit photons. Because each emission is a quantum process, the instant of emission cannot be predicted. So the number of photons that a light source emits in a unit of time will always vary by an amount that is entirely random.

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The process is clever, and most importantly, it’s a beautiful, scientific breakthrough for smartphone privacy. With the prevalence of apps and privacy concerns, cryptography is becoming a major hurdle app developers must overcome. A simple solution using an existing hardware feature such as a smartphone camera will offer safer data exchanges that’s more efficient, and cheaper – whether you are seeking shelter from the NSA or just digital thieves.