Biometric passports are a brilliant idea, just ask the Americans.

uh, maybe not !

Since 2007, the U.S. State Department has been issuing high-tech “e-passports,” which contain computer chips carrying biometric data to prevent forgery. Unfortunately, according to a March report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO), getting one of these supersecure passports under false pretenses isn’t particularly difficult for anyone with even basic forgery skills.

A GAO investigator managed to obtain four genuine U.S. passports using fake names and fraudulent documents. In one case, he used the Social Security number of a man who had died in 1965. In another, he used the Social Security number of a fictitious 5-year-old child created for a previous investigation, along with an ID showing that he was 53 years old. The investigator then used one of the fake passports to buy a plane ticket, obtain a boarding pass, and make it through a security checkpoint at a major U.S. airport. (When presented with the results of the GAO investigation, the State Department agreed that there was a “major vulnerability” in the passport issuance process and agreed to study the matter.)

More than 70 countries have adopted the biometric passports, which officials describe as a revolution in immigration security. However, the GAO’s investigation proves that even the best technology can’t keep a country safe when the bureaucracy behind it fails.

Thats the relevant point up there. The red one. Biometrics are seen as a panacea by government and business leaders without understanding the requirement for complex process to support them. This, supported with a blind resolution that they cannot be bypassed, is why they will fail.

Every Time.

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Biometrics go up to 11 !

December 8, 2009

(Copied blatantly from http://www.theRegister.co.uk, mainly for the spinal tap reference !)

The Israeli Knesset has voted in favour of a bill for a compulsory biometric database of all citizens.

The Biometrics Database Law passed the Knesset 40 votes in favour to 11 against.

A big row over privacy forced the bill back to the drawing board. This led to the idea of a two-year trial rather than a full-blown introduction. Three months before the end of that period ministers will decide to adopt or ditch the technology.

For the first two years the scheme is voluntary. After that all citizens wanting an identification document will have their fingerprints taken along with a picture of their face. Electronic ID cards will contain a chip carrying two fingerprints (These Two ? ) and a digital picture.

Ex-interior minister Meir Sheetrit insisted the database would be safe “as any banking site” and the cards impossible to forge.

Sounding a bit Spinal Tap, he said: “If the databases of the Mossad, the Shin Bet and the Prime Minister’s Office are currently protected at a level of 10, then this one will be protected at a level of 11.”

If you’re concerned about Google retaining your personal data, then you must be doing something you shouldn’t be doing. At least that’s the word from Google CEO Eric Schmidt.

Uh, From dictionary.reference.com

PRIVACY –noun, plural -cies. – the state of being free from intrusion or disturbance in one’s private life or affairs: the right to privacy.

Is that so difficult to understand ?

This is Brilliant !

December 8, 2009

Japanese police have arrested a Chinese woman whom they claim had her fingerprints removed from the fingertips of each hand and swapped to the other side in order to fool immigration controls.

Link