Biometric Technology In The UK: The Emerging Trends

This is a guest post by Paul Coombes, Head of Commercial (EMEA) for Argus Global In the UK, we see the use of Biometric Identification systems being deployed by more and more public and private institutions in more expanded applications. In particular, the UK Border Agency is advancing the use of biometric identification, and so too are British primary and secondary schools. Businesses are following suit, as the benefits of biometric technology become apparent. Biometrics in UK Schools In May

$500 billion spent on intelligence, according to U.S. “black budget”

The United States has spent more than US$500 billion on intelligence since 9/11, an outlay that U.S. officials say has succeeded in its main objective, preventing another catastrophic terrorist attack. This fiscal information, published in intelligent estimates colloquially known as the “black budget”, was revealed for the first time nearly a year ago, through whistle-blower disclosures made by Edward Snowden, which were published by the Washington Post. According to the “black budget”, the United States spent US$80 billion on spy

Biometric Passports and Borders Essential to Saving Lives, Preventing Terrorist Activity

Australian Jahidi’s ISIS Participation Provides More Evidence that 9/11 Commission Recommendations on Biometric Passports and Borders Essential to Saving Lives, Preventing Terrorist Activity “Since the early 1970s numerous terrorist organizations have provided their operatives with a wide variety of spurious documents. After showing their spurious passports and papers at border control, these terrorist operatives have proceeded to hijack airplanes, plant bombs, and carry out assassination. These terrorist acts, however, can be stopped… If we all screen travelers and check their

Biometric exit system spawns U.S. immigration debate

Many Americans think the U.S. immigration system is urgently in need of reform. A Gallup poll conducted in January 2013 found that only 36 percent of Americans were satisfied with the current immigration situation in the United States. The political response has focused on securing the border through heavy enforcement.  As a result, more than 20,000 U.S. Border Patrol agents operate along the borders, which is the highest number deployed in U.S. history and twice the level of a decade

Why scapegoating face recognition technology as privacy wormhole doesn’t solve anything

Facial recognition technology is facing a blitz of negative media with wormhole-like theories that this technology results in mass surveillance, destroys anonymity, and will forever change the way people behave in public. Advocates of this theory are calling for federal privacy regulation that will give a face a right of privacy it has never had in law to date. While using facial recognition in numerous commercial and internet applications definitely requires transparency and consent, the assumptions about what the technology

Canadian academics, privacy groups issue statement against mass spying

In Canada this week, a number of academics have become signatories to a statement calling upon governments to reign in mass surveillance in Canada. Known as the Ottawa Statement, the document acknowledges that Canada is now “entering an age of Big Data and ubiquitous surveillance” and that “governments and private corporations routinely collect and sort massive amounts of personal data for multiple reasons from national security to marketing”. Over 35 leading scholars and 19 organizations have signed on in support.The

Indian election to impact Aadhaar

The historic win of India’s main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the recent national election might result in changes to Aadhaar, the world’s biggest biometrics bank. The Aadhaar program, governed by the Unique Identity Authority of India (UIDAI), aims to enroll all of the country’s residents through biometrics, in order to distribute 12-digit identity cards for access to social programs. So far, the program has combined enrollment of approximately 850 million people, with 630 million Aadhaar numbers generated. The

Why biometrics are essential in schools: The lunch line

The Florida legislature’s near unanimous vote to ban all biometrics in all schools is one of the most blatant acts of failure to conduct due diligence on behalf of a constituency I have ever seen, and I have worked in Congress twice. In school districts across the United States – in California, Florida, Indiana, Louisiana, and West Virginia, for example – fingerprint, vein and palm scanners in cafeterias are driving better school experiences, lowering fraud and costs, and creating greater

U.S. continues to spy on ordinary citizens

During a recent trip to Europe, President Obama said that the U.S. intelligence community was not snooping on “ordinary citizens,” despite many indications to the contrary. “I am confident that everybody in our intelligence agencies operates with the best of intentions and is not snooping into the privacy of ordinary Dutch, German, French or American citizens,” Obama told reporters during a multilateral summit in The Hague. Obama said that due to spy revelations made by the former, renegade intelligence contractor

Biometric voter enrollment engenders rewards and risks

Ensuring quick and precise voter enrollment and identification is the cornerstone of any credible election. Biometric systems are increasingly being deployed in the developing world with the aim to ensure a fair and efficient electoral process. In rich countries, almost everyone has a reliable form of official identification, and biometric technology has traditionally been employed mainly for security and forensics. However, many developing countries suffer from an identity gap where millions of people lack official forms of identification, including birth