Apple is reportedly working on bringing Touch ID to MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models. According to a report from a Taiwan rumor site (via The Independent), Apple will incorporate Touch ID into trackpads on its mobile Macs, and it could bring the technology to its desktop line later through the Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpad.
On the iPhone and iPad, Touch ID relies on a "Secure Enclave" inside the device's processor, which is designed by Apple and built exclusively for Apple. By storing fingerprint data in the secure enclave, rather than on remote servers, Apple claims the data is protected and secure.
But Macs currently use processors designed and built by Intel—according to the report, Touch ID for the Mac line would rely on a dedicated chip built onto the devices.
The trackpads would also have to have a dedicated sensor like the one added to the iPhone. Alternately, Apple could conceivably make the entire trackpad capable of reading a finger print.
That doesn't seem likely for a couple of reasons. The first is that some people won't be comfortable thinking about their entire trackpad registering their fingerprints. It would also add unnecessary complication and expense to the trackpad mechanism.
Accordingly, it seems like Apple would be more likely to incorporate a standalone sensor into, say, a corner of the trackpad, or even next to it.
The bottom line, though, is that Apple is highly likely to add Touch ID to its Macs sooner or later. It's a great convenience technology, and it's a cornerstone of Apple Pay. Touch ID on trackpads would allow Apple to bring Apple Pay to online commerce and iTunes on the Mac.
Which means I like this rumor. 5 Stars. Would buy again.