Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Privacy/Security Politics

In contrast to our philosophical take on the privacy debate, Salon.com offers a more political angle.

Why "security" keeps winning out over privacy

Teaming to Win starts today

The Teaming to Win conference is today and tomorrow in Roanoke, WV. Its purpose is to advance and improve small business prospects in West Virginia, and to facilitate educational opportunities which promote higher business standards, methods and practices.

Your humble diarist will be in attendance tomorrow.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Philippines House approves biometrics voter registration bill

Newsbytes Philippines
A bill that seeks to institutionalize the use of biometrics in voter registration is close to being becoming a law after the House of Representatives recently approved it on third reading.

The Senate version is still pending (Business World Online)

Australian Govt plans biometrics working group

The national science and security division within the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPC) is looking to establish a new working group with industry to tackle biometric security initiatives.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Ghanaian Newspaper wholeheartedly endorses biometric voter ID

To the worlds democracies ID management is an existential issue.

Entrenching The Will Of The People (Daily Graphic via Modern Ghana.com)
While calling on the EC to expedite action on the process, we urge all political parties, civil society groups, the media, the generality of the people and the international community to lend this process all the encouragement and support so that biometric voting can take place in the 2012 presidential and parliamentary elections.

Without doubt the application of the biometric register for the 2012 elections would not only further enhance the credibility and integrity of the polls but also further anchor the country's already enviable democratic system and stature.

Biometric technology used in Osama bin Laden’s death

Bojan Cukic, WVU professor and biometrics expert (Daily Athenaeum)
"Crossing the borders, accessing medicine cabinets in hospitals, even logging in onto our laptops is simply easier more convenient and more secure with biometrics", he said.

More on Bojan
We, on the business end of biometrics, owe a considerable debt to scientists like Dr. Cukic.

Earlier post on SEEK

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

1.5 billion smart credentials to ship

The increasing use of smart cards and biometric capture has changed the way government and healthcare citizen ID documentation is viewed, managed and deployed (Help Net Security)
Many governments are adopting smart, chip-based solutions for several reasons:
  • To help combat fraudulent and criminal activities
  • To improve return on investment and bundle several applications in one document to create efficiencies for government departments
  • To make the documents more user-friendly, flexible, and secure for citizens.
1.5 Billion is an astounding number.

More at the link.

T&A in NYC: Update

After fraud probe, NYC's payroll system clocks in (Wall Street Journal - link inactive)
The program's cost has ballooned from $68 million to more than $700 million.
Earlier posts:
Big-Time fraud in NYC time-and-attendance initiative (12/17/2010)
NYC payroll chief resigns after fraud probe (12/24/2010)

Biometric ID management technologies have the ability to help institutions to combat fraud but the implementations aren't inherently immune from corruption.

Nevertheless, even after the extreme cost overruns that increased the projected cost by a factor of ten, I wouldn't be surprised to see NYC recognize a positive ROI.

From Wikipedeia:
[In 2006] The New York City government's budget is the largest municipal budget in the United States. The city government spends about $50 billion a year, employs 250,000 people, spends about $15 billion to educate more than 1.1 million children, levies $27 billion in taxes, and receives $14 billion from federal and state governments.

$700M / 250,000 employees = $2,800 per employee

Depending upon the scope of inaccuracies in the NYC bureaucracy and the comprehensiveness of the system implemented, recognizing a ROI for the system might not take long at all.

Friday, May 20, 2011

It's not the tech; It's the people. Google edition

Google has apparently discovered a morally repellent use of technology. Good for them. This says more about Google than biometrics.

Google Was for Facial Recognition Before Schmidt Was Against It (Yahoo)
Google warns against facial recognition database (The Telegraph)
Google's Eric Schmidt: Ex-CEO's Most Memorable Quotes (PCWorld)

Some may note the irony that this blog is brought to you via Google's Blogger service.

Google offers a lot of good products. You tend to pay in information about yourself. Often the bargain is acceptable. Sometimes, as with their more controversial pursuits, the relationship isn't consensual.

That's why the individuals working at Google are so important. Google's tech isn't the problem; (sometimes) their use of it is.

Review the quotes in the last article linked above.

It's not the tech; it's the people.

Biometrics firm OmniPerception responds to this issue with
Opinion: Facial recognition technology satisfies privacy concerns raised by Google (OmniPerception.com)
Stewart Hefferman the CEO of OmniPerception said that history has many examples where technologies have had the potential to be misused, frequently through a lack of understanding, until it has been properly legislated or a strong framework of standards has been implemented.

Two on India fighting waste with biometrics

For rural RTO staffers, workday start at noon (Times of India)
Last week, a TOI team visited the RTO office and found that out of the 41 employees, hardly 10 had reported on time. Many seniors also reached after 12 noon.
State to consider mode of payment for beneficiaries (The Hindu)
The proposal to change the mode is under examination of the government in view of the Central Bureau of Investigation unearthing, in September last, a major scam in the disbursement of old age pension, according to an official of the Social Welfare and Nutritious Meal Programme Department.
Not only does the UID project give government an increased ability to identify citizens, of far more importance to ordinary Indians, it gives citizens an increased ability to hold their government accountable. Implementation of biometric time and attendance systems within government bureaucracies can reduce or eliminate ghost workers and stem corruption.

To understand why India is doing what it is doing, please consider this post.

Can't Hide From SEEK

In other international fingerprint news, a look at what the military is doing with biometrics in Afghanistan (StrategyPage.com)
SEEK (Secure Electronic Enrolment Kit), this is a portable electronic toolkit that collects biometric from people.

US, Indian domestic LE orgs conclude fingerprint collection confab

Because Crime is International (AndhraNews.net)
"Transnational criminals and terrorist organizations threaten all countries, and training seminars such as this one are an excellent method for the U.S. and India to partner together to enhance our shared capabilities.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Indefinite retention of DNA samples is unlawful under European human rights law, Supreme Court rules

Police guidelines that allow DNA samples taken during criminal investigations to be retained indefinitely are unlawful, the UK's highest court has ruled (Out-Law.com)
The judges made their ruling in a case involving two men who were appealing against decisions not to delete DNA information stored about them.

One of the men, GC, had a DNA sample, fingerprints and photographs taken after he was arrested on suspicion of assaulting his girlfriend, the summary of the ruling said. The charges were subsequently dropped. The other man, C, was acquitted of rape in 2009 and had requested that his finger prints and DNA be deleted from police records, the summary said.

"Their requests were refused as there were no exceptional circumstances within the meaning of the ACPO guidelines," the summary of the Supreme Court ruling said.
They didn't exactly strike it (the practice) down, either.

A UK Supreme Court summary (2 page pdf) of the case is available here.

This is a very interesting issue precisely because it isn't an easy issue.

Singapore to adopt face recognition at border control points

Govt to award S$1.1b worth of public sector infocomm projects (ChannelNewsAsia.com)
The Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) plans to implement a biometric system - called the Flexi Immigration Clearance System (Flex-i) - that recognises a person's face at immigration checkpoints and allows the person to enter the country in record time.

The project is the first of its kind in Singapore and will allow ICA to toggle between automated and manned counters for immigration clearance.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Privacy and Security in Israel

The debate about the future of Israel's nationwide ID management system is really heating up. The future system will include biometrics. The article deals with how the pilot system is to be organized and distributed and how the information is to be stored.

I've really undersold the article, here. There are some fireworks in there (the adverbs especially) as well as links to other news items about the topic.

How vulnerable will Israel's future biometric database be?
(ynet News)

Biometrics to monitor for teacher fraud in India

Municipal Corporation of Delhi to use technology to curb absentieesm by teachers in its primary schools (ZeeNews.com)
"It was found that a number of teachers either report late to school or mark their attendance and leave for the day. Through this biometric system attendance such things can be checked," said Mahender Nagpal, chairman of the Education Committee of the MCD.

From the MCD homepage:
The Municipal Corporation of Delhi is among the largest municipal bodies in the world providing civic services to more than estimated population of 13.78 million citizens in the capital city. It is next only to Tokyo in terms of area. Within its jurisdiction are some of the most densely populated areas in the world. It has also the unique distinction of providing civic services to rural and urban villages, Resettlement Colonies, regularised unauthorised colonies, JJ Squatter Settlements, slum 'basties, private 'katras' etc.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Fingerprints don't expire

Electronic chip in ID card for Emiratis lasts five years (Zawya.com)
Abu Dhabi: The Emirates Identity Authority (EIDA) has fixed a five-year validity period for Emirati national ID cards because of the five-year life span of the electronic chip in the card, the authority explained yesterday in a statement.

The lifespan of the electronic chip in the national ID card is five years, Eida said.

And there may be biological changes in an individual with ageing which affects biometrics like fingerprinting. “Such changes have to be recorded in the system,” Eida said.
There are all sorts of good reasons to have ID cards expire but, barring severe bodily trauma such as permanent scarring or actually losing digits, changes to fingerprints aren't one of them.

Baby footprints are taken at birth and, given adequate skill and care in recording them, they are reliable over extremely long periods of time. FBI print experts have identified the adult victims of such disasters as fires and airplane crashes by using the footprints of the individuals taken in infancy.

Anybody know why they use baby footprints instead of hand prints?

Australia-New Zealand Biometrics Institute eyes state of the industry

I love the metaphors that pop up in biometrics news headlines.
In this case, the eyes are the biometric modality that makes an appearance (see above).

Follows up 2010 survey, which showed increasing acceptance of biometrics (Computerworld)

A/NZ Biometrics Institute
But don't go there hoping to find the 2010 survey results. They're behind a pay wall.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

TWIC Isn't Keeping Ports Secure, GAO Says

Less Secure than state driver's licenses (National Journal)
Despite nine years of fine-tuning and more than $400 million in funding, a government-issued picture ID card used at U.S. ports provides less security than the average state-issued driver's license, a federal auditor told lawmakers Tuesday.
One of the biggest problems with the TWIC system is interoperability. If you own one location where your customers receive a service, it's all fine and good to have a proprietary, un-networked identity management system. If you're trying to control access at facilities scattered across the globe and managed by many different agencies, you have an ID management challenge of a completely different order.

Part of the solution is technical and part is political.

Interoperability is a term that covers a bit of both the technical and political aspects of ID management.

The solution to the TWIC problem is either a top down agreement among all ports to adopt the same ID management protocols and verification system or a strong standards based solution with a robust middleware integration.

SecurLinx can be of much help with the latter.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Access Control: Badge Wars

The woman who controls access to Baghdad's Green Zone is one of the most powerful Americans in Iraq (Slate.com)
BAGHDAD, Iraq—Army Lt. Col. Kimberly Johanek is one of the most powerful Americans left here. Not even the U.S. ambassador or the four-star commander in charge of U.S. forces has the authority to do what she does.
Johanek is trying to encourage the Iraqis to use biometrics, which match fingerprints or iris scans against a database. It is a highly reliable but expensive identifier that embeds a chip in a badge that can be matched against information stored in a database. The U.S. military uses such biometrics on its badges. But the Iraqis only have five biometric-badge readers, and neither government is willing to turn over their databases to read each other's badges.
This lengthy but informative article underscores one of our common themes: ID management is about people.

7 things to know about India's UID

Here's a good backgrounder on what India is up to with it's UID program.

Some frequently asked questions answered on "Aadhaar" (Times of India)
What is Aadhaar?
A tool for social empowerment and inclusion, Aadhaar is a 12-digit number being issued to all residents by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI). This number is stored in a central database and linked to some basic demographics and biometric information -- photo, 10 fingerprints and iris -- of each individual.

Related thoughts:
Doesn't the concern about identity theft among rich country citizens prove the value of a legitimate identity?

If your identity is so valuable to you that you worry about it being stolen, why would you deny one to a poor person?

Biometric ID management techniques remind me of cell phones in Africa; they allow countries to skip a rung on the development ladder. They can be used among populations where some of prerequisites (especially very high literacy rates) that were necessary to develop effective ID management regimes in the developed countries are, for now, missing.

Biometrics fights against TB

H/T @m2sys

A non-profit organization is using the magic of Biometrics to fight the TB menace (itVARnews.net)
The biometrics attendance system is being used by this NGO in its bid to eradicate tuberculosis in the city which has about 217 per one lakh* people afflicted by the disease.

As part of this ‘Operation Asha’ fingerprinting data is collected from patients and even potential patients with the help of councilors and by collecting fingerprint data from the patients during each visit, counselors at the centers are able to deliver personalized care to ensure that anyone infected is staying on their entire course of medication until they are completely free from tuberculosis.
The creativity of the scientific community in applying biometric ID management techniques to some of the world's most vexing problems is truly amazing.

ID management is about people, after all. Humans have understood the technical aspects of killing Mycobacterium tuberculosis for decades. It's bridging the gap from the lab to populations that is the hard part.

*One lakh = 100,000

Using Economics to Help the World’s Poor

Mr. Banerjee and Ms. Duflo have pushed anti-poverty programs in developing countries to become more serious about evaluating whether they are actually improving people’s lives. (New York Times Economix blog)
Since they will no doubt want more specific suggestions, here are two policies that I think every poor country should implement. A small universal cash grant to everyone over 12, based on biometric identification. This guarantees that no one has to face the humiliation of being totally indigent, and from our evidence, makes people more productive as well. Making it universal is important, so that they do not attempt to identify the poor (which is very difficult to do effectively in poor countries).
Rigorous identity management techniques are crucial to the success of programs designed to help lift the world's most vulnerable people.

First, they are important to establishing the scientific validity of a given approach.

Second, they are necessary to prevent the corruption that de-legitimizes social programs.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Part VI: Filling in the framework, subjectivity and interpretation

Part I: The Right to Privacy
Part II: The Nature of Consent
Part III: Transparency
Part IV: A Framework for the Consideration of Privacy Issues
Part V: Filling in the framework; Absolute advocacy dos and don'ts

Part VI: Filling in the framework, subjectivity and interpretation
The last chapter ended with the assertion that it was reasonable to take an absolutist position on privacy issues in only three of the sixteen entire sections of the proposed privacy framework. In two (green) sections it is reasonable, perhaps incumbent on privacy advocates to lobby, influence, cajole and otherwise perform their proper, responsible role in society. In one of those sections (red), they have an absolute duty to forebear from any and all activity, lest they invite the label of hypocrite at best and aspiring tyrant at worst.

There is also a third region of the framework where things aren’t settled -- where in some cases there would be room for uninvited third parties and sometimes there wouldn’t be room for uninvited third parties to advance the societal privacy debate. In order to complete the traffic signal metaphor and with sincere apologies to any number of African countries, let’s use yellow.

How one fills in the rest of the framework is necessarily going to reflect a fair degree of subjectivity.

Using the colors:
Green -- It’s everybody’s business;
Red -- It’s none of your business;
Yellow -- Let’s talk about it;

there are an infinite number of ways individuals can fill in the chart.

The point of this exercise isn’t to determine precisely where the boundaries are, it is firmly to establish that these categories exist and to start a conversation that can begin to generate consensus about where, approximately, they lie.

The minimal case, outlined above and in Part V would look like this:
Someone else might fill it in like this:
Or this
Outside of the red and green areas isn’t some zone of silence where nobody has any right to an opinion. One is free to express an opinion on anything one wishes. Others are also free to mock, scorn or ignore that opinion.

One that wishes to tread into the yellow area should be prepared first to state the issue, explain why it’s worthy of public consideration and how their recommendation improves the status quo.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Credential theft out of control

Ineffective, weak or stolen credentials continue to wreak havoc on enterprise security, while stolen passwords and credentials are out of control. (ITWeb.co.za)
The 2011 report investigated approximately 760 data breaches and finds that hacking (50%) and malware (49%) were the most prominent types of attack, with many of them involving stolen credentials and passwords.

As in previous years, the vulnerabilities created by conventional access credentials feature among the report's key findings.
The username/password bloom is off the ID management rose.

The Glorious End Of User Names And Passwords

Will your iris unlock the world? (Forbes)
It's about ROI (return on investment), after all. But it's also about people.
Yes, the idea that your identity will be, captured on camera and put in a data base may set off the ultra liberal and conservative elements within our society. But the real issue here is not for those who worry about the government monitoring your activities; where you are going or what you are buying. This is about protection--the real issue is what it would cost both you, in your personal life, and the government, in its attempt to be as secure and fraud-free as possible, not to employ this technology?
I agree with the author's premises. Username/Password as an ID management technique is pretty far past its sell-by date when it comes to managing access to anything the user considers important. The status quo is unsustainable.

There is substantial ROI in adopting biometric ID management techniques. Biometrics will not be foisted upon an unwilling populace. They will be demanded by informed people who wish to conduct their affairs in a more secure and efficient environment.

I do, however, disagree with some of the author's conclusions.

There is no "magic bullet" biometric modality: not iris; not face; not voice; not finger; palm vein, DNA, etc. -- nor will there be for the foreseeable future. They all have limitations flowing from the environment in which they are deployed and the individuals they must serve.

I'm also very sensitive about overpromising and underdelivering the promise of biometric identity management. This derives from our experience of the damage done to the reputation of the biometrics industry as a result of such behavior in the past. Following 9-11, there was no shortage of those claiming to be able make all identity management dreams come true through biometrics. They raised big money and a lot of people got burned. Not all of this was unpredictable or solely the industry's fault. A lot of people who might have known better threw a lot of money around and someone was going to be there to catch it. But real damage was done.

The author of the linked piece is also quoted in this Fast Company article.

See also: Iris Biometrics in the news

Friday, May 6, 2011

Pre raid bin Laden Face-Rec confirmation

Facial Recognition Software Helped SEALs Nab Osama bin Laden (FOX - Sacramento, CA)
During the years long process of tracking down public enemy number one, a break came in September 2010. That's when Osama bin Ladin was captured exercising in the yard of his Abbottabad compound by a satellite armed with facial recognition software.
Add this to the list of reasons not to do bench presses... at least not outside.. if you're a known terrorist.. and the number one target of the world's most lethal organizations.

CIA analyst 1: Holy crap! Is that bin Laden down there pumping iron?
CIA analyst 2: Where?
CIA analyst 1: Right there, next to the burning trash pile.
CIA analyst 2: Well I'll be.. sure looks like him. Run him through the face rec!

We posted here about the post-mortem face rec verification. This is the first I've seen of a face-rec verification before the raid.

UPDATE: Most every initial report about the events surrounding the bin Laden take-down have been wrong so some skepticism is in order. I can't vouch for the fact that there was satellite based recognition. But if a satellite can get a decent-quality image of a person's face, there is no technological reason why that image cannot be processed through a facial recognition system. Since face recognition is exactly that, face recognition, not top-of-the-head recognition, the bench press (where the exerciser is on his/her back ) is one possible way that a satellite would get such an image.

Clubs to keep fighting proposed pokies reforms, despite concessions

The Australian
As independent MP Andrew Wilkie confidently declared he had the numbers to push gambling reforms through parliament, Clubs Australia said the blueprint for change handed down by a parliamentary committee today was a “dog's breakfast”.

Clubs Australia executive director Anthony Ball said the pre-commitment scheme, allowing players to set a limit on how much they are willing to lose, would cost clubs billions and force taxpayers to pay massive compensation to venues.

“This is a mandatory pre-commitment scheme which is a licence to punt,” he said.

“There is not a scintilla of evidence that this will help problem gamblers. This is just a system designed to inconvenience recreational gamblers.”
We've followed this closely.

It's nice to see the Clubs Australia folks finally starting to stand on their hind legs. Problem gamblers and privacy-loving Australians everywhere need them right now.

Problem gamblers deserve the tools they need. The proposed rules are worse than the status quo.

For an explanation of why and much more on the subject please consider the posts at the link.

South Africa Criminal record checks go biometric

IT Web
SA's newest credit information bureau, Inoxico, last week unveiled a biometric fingerprint scanning facility as the sector needs to comply with the police's digital system.

The move is expected to speed up industry queries into whether prospective employees have criminal records. CIO Marius van Niewenhuizen adds the biometric facility will also help clear job applicants who are incorrectly thought to have records, because of inaccuracies when data is captured.(emphasis mine)
The bolded section is often overlooked in the Identity management conversation.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Malaysia to start fingerprinting visitors

Foreigners entering and leaving the country will have both index fingers scanned at Immigration checkpoints beginning next month (New Straits Times)
The procedure is a new security feature to curb transboundary crime and terrorism.

Called the biometric fingerprint security system, it is aimed at enhancing security in the immigration clearance process, which currently involves only the stamping of passports and matching photographs in the passports to faces.

And Also:
Malaysia to start fingerprint check of foreigners (Press Trust of India)
Immigration officials said that with rampant forgery of travel documents nowadays, the biometric system would allay this worry.
Immigration Department director general Mr Alias Ahmad said such a security measure was deemed necessary in view of the increasing number of foreigners who had abused their privileges as visitors.
It is commonly assumed that governments implement biometric ID management techniques in some Orwellian effort to control people. But governments have obligations to their citizens and to neighboring countries. They have a duty to their citizens to prevent their victimization by those who would do them harm and they have a duty to neighboring countries not to provide a safe haven for those who would victimize citizens of neighboring countries.

Malaysia's strategic location abutting some of the world's most important sea trade routes subjects it to risks that it has an obligation to address (see: Don’t mess with Malaysia, human traffickers warned (The Star)). Biometric technologies can help countries develop the efficient and needed law enforcement mechanisms that other countries spent much more time and money to implement.

Malaysia (CIA World Factbook)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Israel to issue 'world's most secure passport'

Biometric passports will include computer chip with photo, finger prints (ynet)
After years of delays Israel is finally getting ready to embark on a new age of biometric identification. In the coming months, Israeli citizens will be asked to replace their old passports and identity cards with new sophisticated means of identification.
Perhaps because Israel's other security methods are so effective, Israel is actually somewhat late to the biometric passport party.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Part V: Filling in the framework; Absolute advocacy dos and don'ts

Part I: The Right to Privacy
Part II: The Nature of Consent
Part III: Transparency
Part IV: A Framework for the Consideration of Privacy Issues

Part V: Filling in the framework; Absolute advocacy dos and don'ts
Using the framework proposed in Part IV, there is certainly proper role for privacy advocacy in a free and open society.

With any interaction that can be categorized as mandated/opaque or mandated/vague a privacy advocate can be seen as simply using their right to free speech to argue for their own individual privacy rights. Since mandated interactions are mandated by the government and laws, ideally, are enforced equally, any change the privacy advocate spurs affects everyone. In a democracy this is completely appropriate.

The same can be said for interactions falling within the mandated/customary and mandated/transparent categories, but these are likely to be well-worn areas in the marketplace of ideas with little space for advocates to advance the public debate.

The other region of the framework that will attract advocates is the area of the opaque interactions to the right of the mandated section. But since the further right you move along the x-axis, the more consensual the interaction, the character of the advocates’ actions changes. Activity in this region is no longer petitioning the government for changes to the laws under which everyone must live; it is more nuanced than that. Activities in this region must attempt to educate individuals about the nature of these interactions or they short-circuit an individual’s freedom of choice by attempting to make the issue a legal one. Depending upon the issue at stake, either activity might be appropriate, but there is a real and substantial difference between the advocate’s activities re mandated and more consensual interactions.

So there are two regions of the framework that are sure to attract privacy advocates, where they have a legitimate role even though the nature of that role might change substantially.

There is also at least one region of the chart where there is absolutely no role for a privacy advocate who wishes to avoid invading the privacy of others and earning the label of hypocrite. That region is, of course the explicit/transparent area. An advocate who wishes to intrude upon this area does not wish to protect an individual’s right to privacy; he wishes to dictate the behavior of private individuals according to his own aesthetic.

The chart below shows the area of the previously suggested framework where it is reasonable to take an absolutist position. Advocates have an absolute right to act within the green area, and an absolute duty to refrain from activity in the red area (click to enlarge).

Part VI: Filling in the framework, subjectivity and interpretation

Biometrics critique or parody of a biometrics critique?

Osama bin Laden’s Identity Confirmed With Biometrics Technology. You’re Next — and You Should Care (Forbes)
But don’t forget this. Iris-recognition technology already has evolved to the point where authorities can very quickly scan members of a crowd from a distance of 10 feet, a figure expected to increase dramatically. That means that they can scan your eyes without your consent. Forget about Apple tracking your iPhone or the government infringing your Fourth Amendment rights with GPS technology. Iris tracking allows authorities to track you with extraordinary precision. Tom Cruise taught us that. And if you’re willing to be tracked without consent and place your faith in your iris’ uniqueness to vouch for your identity, remember that technology is always fallible. It will fail, and citizens will be misidentified, in some cases with grave consequences when not also confirmed by DNA matching.
I'd have to say that it's more likely a parody of an anti-biometrics article than a real anti-biometrics article because the arguments are transparent howlers.

Exhibit A: "Tom Cruise taught us that."
Exhibit B: "if you’re willing to be tracked without consent..." this is very close to an oxymoron.

No serious person would write those two things especially in consecutive sentences. Either this is class A parody or I weep for Yale, Steve Forbes and horses everywhere.

Monday, May 2, 2011

bin Laden & Face-Rec

It's not absolutely clear whether the recognition was done pre- or post-mortem (I'd assume the latter) but..

bin Laden identity confirmed with facial recognition (Washington Post)
U.S. forces flew to bin Laden’s hideout in helicopters about 1 a.m. Monday (late Sunday afternoon in Washington). Bin Laden was shot in the head after he and his guards resisted the U.S. attackers, the Associated Press reported. U.S. personnel identified him by facial recognition.

UPDATE: Looks like it was post-mortem (Politico) - way down at the end...
U.S. forces took photographs of the body, and officials used facial-recognition technology to compare them with known pictures of bin Laden.