21 July 2006

The Open Body, Biometric Spoofing and ID Cards

Our bodies are open. That is, unless we are planning some criminal activity, we do not try to hide the basic physical facts about ourselves - our voice, our face, our eyes, our fingerprints. Unfortunately, these are precisely the characteristics that biometric ID schemes depend on for verification. This is tantamount to walking around with a large sign saying "my password is xxxx".

And this isn't just my opinion. Here's what one Bori Toth, biometric research and advisory lead at Deloitte & Touche, no less, has to say on the subject:

Many people are trying to regard biometrics as secret but they aren't. Our faces and irises are visible and our voices are being recorded. Fingerprints and DNA are left everywhere we go and it's been proved that these are real threats.

So the use of precisely these spoofable biometrics is just one more reason to bin the whole idiotic ID card idea, which rather depends on them being foolproof. (Via Slashdot.)

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