The Dark Side of Biometrics

THE SCENARIO: You weretrying to get good deal on a 20-megapixel camera. Instead you ended up with an empty bank account and a ruined credit history.  The culprit was your biometric debit card,  which was designed to thwart indetity theft but instead let a thief impersonate you.

After leaks of millions of credit card numbers, financial companies rolled out biometric credit and ATM check cards, which required that a card user’s fingerprint (examined by a fingerprint reader) match the account holder’s fingerprint (stored on the card).  The seemingly foolproof technology took off, and within a few years new PCs came equipped with software-enabled fingerprint readers that allowed users to authorize financial transactions over the Inernet.

When you used your biometrically enabled ATM check card to purchase something, you sent your IP address, card number, and digital fingerprint over the Internet to a credit card server. But your information got intercepted in transit and then sold on a message board.  There are even times that the one asking for your finger to authenticate your card with your fingerprint, is the one stealing your print. With the information taken from you, now someone has depleted your checking account, and you can’t prove it wasn’t you because our fingerprint is all over the transactions. And also your print can even be use for other things. It may end up loaded to the list of criminals in a police stations server.

Evenually  the problem wil be resolved in your favor. But for the time being, you’’ll have to rely on an almost extinct form of payment: CASH!

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