Last night I saw a good documentary about “Total Control”. It was aimed to provide more information about the course the world is taking on identification means, and the impact within the whole concept of “Big Brother. Going from biometric authentication (fingerprint, iris, …) to the usage of RFID chips to track people.
I’ve always been somewhat a fan of security. Here I have to be honest that I’m not as paranoid as (some) security consultants, but that’s their vision and not mine. 😉 Security has to cover all the bases it should, at a “price” that still allows the users to work. The quote “We are not a bank!” might seem to be in the same line, yet my vision there is “We’re not a bank, but let’s do everything reasonably possible to cover all possible entrances.”.
That being said… (as I strolled off the path.) The biometric authentication means have always interested me. I thought they were not easily fooled. Yet they showed that some biometric fingerprint devices can be tricked by creating a fake finger true glue. While browsing the net, I’ve seen some technologies who have been focusing on detecting these fake ones too. Just check the following image…
You can see the difference as the faked ones are less detailed, but I think scanners with a low density (DPI) will give false positives on the fake ones.
To RFID, or not to RFID
The other part was about the usage of RFID. The most common usage we know is to protect branded apparel from shoplifting. But there is a possible privacy breach when the RFID tags are not removed when sold. You might say that you see them removing some big plastic thing every time you buy clothing… Now what if you were told that these tags can easily be sewed into your clothing, or even be inserted between the sole layers of your shoe, and that the plastic thingies were just a distraction…
As most of you readers are USA/UK based, I’ll going to state that in contradiction to your countries, everyone in Belgium is obliged to have his/her ID card with them at all time starting from the age of twelve. That being said; since two-three years the ID cards are being replaced by eID cards. These cards look like a bank or social security card. The card contains the same data as a normal ID card would, but in digital form. It also has a RFID chip inside them.
So if we would take the apparel example along with the eID situation. Then blend it with some RFID readers in a shop, and a nice business intelligence database, what would we get… a nice customer buying profile.
If we would take the situation that tad further, we could even say that privacy would be gone if the government decided to put RFID readers all across the land linked to an intelligence database. They’d know at all times where we’d be.
The last part was about RFID implants. Some exclusive night clubs have started to integrate this technology for their billing & entrance system. The customers would get a RFID implanted (at the club itself by a “Nurse”). Afterwards they can “charge” their credit limit within the club, and they don’t need to carry cash all the time. Off course this might seem like a nice idea (especially to women who don’t have a wallet), but after reading the above one might think otherwise.