Paul Saffo on biometrics hacking

August 1, 2006

IFTF‘s Paul Saffo succinctly summarizes the potential risks of ubiquitous biometric ID technology:

A Japanese cryptographer has demonstrated how, with a bit of gummi bear gelatin, some cyanoacrylic glue, a digital camera and a bit of digital fiddling, he can easily capture a print off a glass and confect an artificial finger that foils fingerprint readers with an 80 percent success rate. Frightening as this is, at least the stunt is far less grisly than the tale, perhaps aprocryphal, of some South African crooks who snipped the finger off an elderly retiree, rushed her still-warm digit down to a government ATM, stuck it on the print reader and collected the victim’s pension payment. (Washington Post)

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