Measures such as ID cards are a temporary measure before biometric technology becomes ubiquitous; That was the warning from security guru Bruce Schneier this week who claims that surveillance technology will get more sophisticated and, more importantly, smaller and harder to detect. "We live in a very unique time in our society. The cameras are everywhere and you can still see them," said Schneier, BT's chief security technology officer. "Five years ago they weren't everywhere, five years from now you are not going to see them."
Biometric technologies such as face recognition, or systems based on a particular type of mobile phone owned or even clothes, may also be used for identity checks. The increase in background ID checks means that the current debate around national ID cards in the UK is only a short-term issue, according to Schneier. "I know there are debates on ID cards everywhere but in a lot of ways, they are only very temporary. They are only a temporary solution till biometrics takes over," he said.
Eventually, even airports won't actually require people to show ID, as the checks will just happen in the background while you queue for check-in or move through the terminal. "When you walk into the airport they will know who you are. You won't have to show an ID – why bother? They can process you quicker," he said.
29 October 2008