Friday, June 10, 2005

Cash, Charge or Fingerprint?


From Washingtonpost.com

Three or four days a week, Darren Hiers gets lunch at a Sterling convenience store near the car dealership where he works. He grabs a chicken sandwich and a soda and heads to the checkout counter, where a little gadget scans his index finger and instantly deducts the money from his checking account.

Hiers doesn't have to pull out his wallet to buy lunch -- and if it were up to him, he'd never have to write a check or swipe a credit card again.

The finger scan used at the shop in Sterling, known as a biometric payment system and made by a Herndon firm, is just starting to be installed at convenience stores and supermarket chains around the country, another step in a revolution that is turning the human body into the ultimate identification card.

Already faces and fingerprints are used to track visitors coming into the country. Computer passwords are being replaced by thumbprints at some companies and iris scans are giving consumers in England and Germany access to their bank accounts at ATM's.

The owner of BioPay LLC, which makes the technology used at the store, predicts the finger scan soon will be ubiquitous, offering speed and convenience for consumers. But civil libertarians have raised privacy concerns, citing some recent problems. In February, ChoicePoint Inc., a background-screening company that collects personal information -- including biometric data -- said it accidentally sold more than 100,000 individual profiles to identity thieves.

Data companies sell our details to others , this is a practise that has been going on from the beginning. If for example they sell data for £25,000 to the next company(which they do) that company has access to millions worth of our data, if that company is not genuine(which is what just happened) those people has access to millions worth of our data.

If the fraudsters successfully use any biometric details sold to them.....YOU PAY!! It's simple...your details, your fingerprint, your iris scan, your debt!

It's not all doom and gloom, the good thing is you can get to the checkout quicker, this is far more important than your personal data being lost or stolen by the big companies, please go back to sleep.

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