Ben Goldacre on biometrics

Ben Goldacre has written a great piece for the Guardian about ID cards and why biometrics are not to be trusted. I have mixed feelings about Ben Goldacre – I think he is too quick to dismiss as quackery things that science can’t explain, but he is truly excellent on pointing out the misuse of science. The issue about biometric data being easily faked has been around for a while, but it needs repeating again and again until public opinion catches up with facts.

“So will biometrics prevent ID theft? Well, it might make it more difficult for you to prove your innocence. And once your fingerprints are stolen, they are harder to replace than your pin number.”

One Reply to “Ben Goldacre on biometrics”

  1. Reminds me of that case in Malaysia where the thieves cut off a cars owner’s finger to steal his biometric.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/4396831.stm

    I’ve been finger printed every time I go to the US, Hong Kong (since I have a HK ID card) and next time I have to re-enter Japan.

    One better system is the finger/hand vein system that they have now. Since it would be much hard to re-create your vain structures.

    As for privacy and crime, well considering the HMRC lost those CDs recently, some criminals are going to be kept busy for a very long time! Yikes!

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