Disable or remove fingerprint reader?

My Framework is on order and I look forward to getting it. I am curious if there is a way to actually, in hardware, fully disable or remove the fingerprint reader. I know it can be turned off in the BIOS, but I would prefer a hardware disable (e.g., cut power to it) or a way to remove it. Given that it is integrated into the power button, I assume that I can’t just disconnect the connector and still be able to turn the machine on.

I know that it may well be run of the mill paranoia, but I am very apprehensive about and deeply dislike biometrics. I can change what I know (my password) and replace what I have (my token) but I cannot alter what I am (biometrics) and I would strongly prefer it if that particular piece of hardware was actually permanently and physically disabled. Firmware disablement and driver removal (which I will do if the hardware can’t be disabled) are the alternative option and I understand how to go about doing that.


Hi and welcome to the forum.

I’m pretty sure there is a DIY option i.e. to mess with the actual module and cut disconnect etc. some circuit.

Official Framework boffins may know or can find out.

It may be possible to cover the fingerprint module contacts with tape to stop the circuit.

Step six shows the removal of the cable to the module. It may be possible to cover some of the pins with thin tape before reinserting.

If you can the right ones then you can scratch a break in them.

I image only two or three are for power.

Hi there! One other solution could simply be running a Linux distro that doesn’t have the drivers for it included. If you never install them, then the scanner will not be able to do anything to or for your OS.

Of course to be sure taping the contacts as suggested above would probably be more ideal.


The sensors are pretty fussy, any sort of dirt can mess them up.

Of course a simple solution is to paint over the button with nail varnish, glitter may be nice.

Or a little smiley sticker, that can be removed if you change your mind or want to sell. :slight_smile:

Now that’s something I never thought of. Dismantling the device and blocking pins sounds much more difficult than just painting over it with some clear nail polish, which is why that approach made me a bit apprehensive when I considered it. I’m not afraid of hardware, but I am also aware from watch repair that my ham hands make some delicate work tricky. This sounds like a cool idea and I’ll look into when I get my stuff and can examine how the power button actually works.

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Another possible option is to never actually touch it with your fingers/skin, giving it nothing “useful” to potentially read and abuse no matter what software gets onto it. Gloves, clothing, the end of a cable, just about anything might potentially be used to avoid letting it have your fingerprint.