LaCie launches fingerprint-recognition mobile hard drives

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Joined: Mar 7 1999

LaCie Unveils SAFE Mobile Hard Drives With Biometric Control Access

· Unlock the drive by fingerprint recognition (no software needed)

· Protect confidential files from unauthorized use

· Ideal for parental control

· Compact bus-powered USB 2.0 connection (no AC adaptor needed) *

· Drives available in 40Gyte and 80GByte versions

· Drives are 5,400rpm with 8MByte cache

* Optional AC adapter is sold separately for non-powered USB hub or host adapter

London, (June 2005) – LaCie unveils revolutionary LaCie SAFE Mobile Hard Drives with cutting-edge biometric technology. Fingerprint authentication grants access to the drive. Thanks to embedded software, no installation is needed on the host computer making this storage solution completely mobile, user-friendly and secure. Compact SAFE drive casing created by Porsche Design GmbH is small enough to fit comfortably in a shirt pocket or bag.

George Leptos, LaCie UK General Manager, said, “With our new SAFE Mobile hard drive, people can now transport important data without concerns”.

“SAFE drives are absolutely secure and only accessible by registered and authorized fingerprints. Biometry is based on unique human identity traits that are far more secure, convenient and user-friendly than passwords or smart-card protection.”

As the need for data protection increases, the use of verification and personal-identification technologies is becoming apparent. Simply swipe a finger over the sensor to unlock LaCie SAFE Mobile Hard Drive while connected to any PC or Mac. This level of security is ideal for protecting important professional information at work, safeguarding files while on the road, and for parental control at home. Up to five different users can be registered with customized access privileges such as read/write or read-only.

LaCie SAFE Mobile Hard Drives incorporate the latest access-control for completely safe data storage. The unique silicon fingerprint reader makes the solution really robust, reliable and secure. It scans more than traditional readers and registers fingerprint templates as high-quality images to enable fingerprint recognition in real-time as well as help prevent misidentification. Integrating a swiping fingerprint sensor also minimizes corruption risks - the movement of a finger over the sensor immediately eliminates traces of the print making it difficult for unauthorized users to duplicate.

Availability and pricing
LaCie SAFE Mobile Hard Drives will be available through LaCie’s customized dealer network or direct in August in 40GByte or 80GByte capacities (each rated at 5,400rpm and with 8MByte caches).

40GB LaCie SAFE Mobile Hard Drive SKU 300809 £89 excl VAT
80GB LaCie SAFE Mobile Hard Drive SKU 300813 £119 excl VAT

For more information, visit:

About LaCie
Located in the US, Canada, Japan, Australia, Europe, Singapore and Hong-Kong, LaCie is the leading manufacturer of computer peripherals for PC, Mac and Linux users. LaCie creates external storage solutions and colour monitors that help professionals and everyday people easily manage their digital lives. LaCie has differentiated its products through original designs and leading-edge technology. Established in France in 1989, LaCie is listed on Euronext under FR0000054314 (LAC). For more information, visit

Tweaked for easier reading. BC

Paul W. H
Joined: Jul 25 1999

Bob, this all very well and good but there must be a "back door" way in.

Imagine owning one and dropping dead later and the family breaking into the undertakers just to get at your fingers to activate the drive.

Paul W. H

Joined: Mar 7 1999


I've just followed the LaCie link given in my posting and downloaded a PDF file of the manual (about 900K). My reading of this is if things turn seriously bad, concerning fingerprint recognition, the drive has to go back to Lacie.

I've copied the relevant stuff below my sig.

Having downloaded and skimmed the manual, what concerns me more is that there is no reassurance that if the unit is stolen, the data on the drive can't be accessed simply by removing the drive and putting it into another drive bay or computer.

In other words, I'm concerned that the fingerprint recognition would merely deter random theft, not prevent a determined effort to steal the data on the drive.

I'll email LaCie and ask those two questions specifically.

Bob C

This is from the FAQ section in the product manual:

What should I do if the SAFE drive remains locked after swiping my finger?

First, make sure that you are swiping your finger the right direction (the front of the drive should be facing you) and that you are touching the sensor for 10 seconds.

Also, be sure to wait a few seconds after connecting the LaCie SAFE drive to the USB port on your computer. Second, check with the Administrator to make sure you are registered and that you are using the correct

You might also try cleaning the sensor with a dry, soft cloth or disconnecting and reconnecting the USB cable. If none of these things work, consult section 10. Troubleshooting the Fingerprint Sensor for more suggestions.

This is the fingerprint-sensor troubleshooting section of the manual:

10. Troubleshooting the Fingerprint Sensor

In the event that your LaCie SAFE mobile hard drive's fingerprint sensor does not recognize you as an authorized user, please refer to the following checklist to find out where the problem is coming from.

If you have gone through all of the points on the checklist and the fingerprint sensor still does not recognize, please have a look at the FAQs that are regularly published on our Web site –

One of these FAQs may provide an answer to your specific question. You can also visit the drivers pages, where the most recent software updates will be available. If you need further assistance, please contact your LaCie reseller or LaCie Technical Support. See section 11. Contacting Customer Support for details.

If you are having problems with your LaCie SAFE Hard Drive, see section 8 Troubleshooting the Drive.

User's Manual Updates - LaCie is constantly striving to give you the most up-to-date, comprehensive User’s Manuals available on the market. It is our goal to provide you with a friendly, easy-to-use format that will help you quickly install and utilize the many functions of your new device. If your User's Manual does not reflect the configurations of the product that you purchased, please check our Web site for the most current version available.

Try the following things if the fingerprint sensor does not recognize you:

* Make sure the front of the drive is facing you.
* Make sure your finger is positioned properly. It should be flat and resting entirely on the sensor surface so that it touches the metal plate around the sensor itself.
* Try using the other registered finger.
* Try keeping your finger on the sensor for a longer period of time.
* Clean the sensor with a dry tissue or cloth.
* If you have dry skin, try touching your finger to your forehead or the side of your nose and then placing your finger on the sensor.
* If you have moist skin, try rubbing your finger on your slacks or shirt sleeve and then place your finger on the unit.
* Disconnect and then reconnect the drive.

Contact stuff

Contact us via the provided Web link.

Before contacting us, make sure that you are in front of your computer and that you have the following information on hand:

* Your LaCie drive’s serial number
* Operating system (Mac OS or Windows) and version
* Computer brand and model
* Names of CD or DVD drives installed on your computer
* Amount of memory installed
* Names of any other devices installed on your computer

Joined: Apr 12 1999
In other words, I'm concerned that the fingerprint recognition would merely deter random theft, not prevent a determined effort to steal the data on the drive.

A truly determined thief would just cut off your finger. It's much harder to steal a password than to steal a fingerprint: the latter just needs a sharp knife and a cold-blooded thief.

P4-3.06/2GB RAM/2500GB IDE/SATA. Avid Media Composer, Liquid Edition, Premiere 6, Lightwave, Vue 6, eyeon Fusion 5. DV and HDV editing/compositing.

Paul W. H
Joined: Jul 25 1999

Ahhh, but which finger, better cut them all off just in-case.

Paul W. H

Joined: Apr 12 1999

True :).

I'm sure that few of us have data that important to store, but it's part of the dark underside of 'biometrics' that few people want to talk about. I remember one guy on a mailing list I was on a few years ago saying he got very odd looks when he went to a booth for a biometrics company at a computer show and asked them if their fingerprint readers could distinguish between living fingers and severed fingers.

P4-3.06/2GB RAM/2500GB IDE/SATA. Avid Media Composer, Liquid Edition, Premiere 6, Lightwave, Vue 6, eyeon Fusion 5. DV and HDV editing/compositing.

Joined: Mar 7 1999

Just one thought - a cold-blooded thief who was willing to chop off my finger(s) would have no trouble getting a password out of me (or, I suspect, most people).

From that I deduce that a password system is not any more secure than a finger-print ID system.

Bob C

Joined: Nov 11 2006
Finger prints