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Before long, physical driver’s licenses will be obsolete and credit card purchases won’t require signatures, just a wave of our hands over a sensor.
And it won’t take dozens of seconds like my fingerprinting, but one or two.
India’s millions of poor often lack official identification, complicating the allocation of aid and other social services.
Biometrics will serve as a form of national ID that can’t be lost or misplaced.
Driver’s licenses and passports are examples of the former, passwords and PINs the latter. They are a fundamental shift in the way we are identified.
But physical identification is easy to fake, and passwords are easily cracked by hackers, who then have nearly unfettered access to our credit cards, bank accounts, and personal data. Unlike traditional identification which you must either remember or carry with you, biometrics are you.
“We’ve seen that with some of the data sharing programs in the federal government right now,” Lynch says.
The software would let her know if my prints were successfully captured.
But just because they can’t be lost or misplaced doesn’t mean they can’t be misused. A biometric by itself isn’t threatening, though they are easily linked to other, potentially sensitive information, and that’s when people grow uneasy.
Some of the anxiety stems from the fact that biometrics are a part of who we are—they’re not an internet username that can be easily discarded or created anew.
The technology was quickly applied to criminal investigations, and to this day, suspects around the world are fingerprinted after their arrest. Congress decided we must have some way of securing our borders,” says Anil Jain, a computer scientist at the University of Michigan. Its first widespread applications were in Iraq and Afghanistan.
For more than 100 years, that was about the extent of it. government became acutely aware that it didn’t know exactly who was passing in and out of the country. The terrorist attack, he says, was a “major watershed.” The use of biometrics has spread rapidly. government has poured money into research, development, and acquisition of biometric identification systems. In an attempt to weed out insurgents from the general public, the U. military has collected fingerprints, iris scans, and facial images from millions of Iraqis and Afghans.