Flashback: Homeland Security seeks Bladerunner-style lie detector | Researchers use brain scans to read people’s memories | UK security whitepaper urges ‘end of privacy’ | Bestiality, suicide questions OK for job applicants, Halifax concludes | ‘Pre-crime’ detector shows promise | India’s use of brain scans in courts dismays critics
Owen Bowcott, The Guardian
May 10, 2009
Distinctive brain patterns could become the latest subject of biometric scanning after EU researchers successfully tested technology to verify Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Âidentities for security checks.
The experiments, which also examined the potential of heart rhythms to authenticate individuals, were conducted under an EU-funded inquiry into biometric systems that could be deployed at airports, borders and in sensitive locations to screen out terrorist suspects.
Another series of tests fitted a “sensing seat” to a truck to record each driver’s characteristic seated posture in an attempt to spot whether commercial vehicles had been hijacked.
Details of the Humabio (Human Monitoring and Authentication using Biodynamic Indicators and Behaviourial Analysis) pilot projects have been published amid further evidence of biometric technologies penetrating everyday lives.
The Foreign Office plans to spend up to Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â£15m on fixed and mobile security devices that use methods including “Facial recognition (two and/or three dimensional), fingerprint recognition, iris recognition and vein imaging palm recognition”.
The biometric sensors and systems, it appears, will primarily be deployed to protect UK embassies around the world. The contract, about which the FCO declined to elaborate further, also mentions “surveillance” and “data collection” services.
The Home Office, meanwhile, has confirmed rapid expansion plans of automated facial recognition gates: 10 will be operating at major UK airports by August.
Passengers holding the latest generation of passports travelling through Manchester and Stansted are already being checked by facial-recognition cameras.
Biometric identity checks are also becoming more common in the world of commercial gadgets. New versions of computer laptops and mobile phones are entering the market with built-in fingerprint scanners to prevent other people running up large bills and misusing pilfered hi-tech equipment.
Among security experts there is a preference for developing biometric security devices that do not rely on measuring solely one physiological trait: offering choice makes scanning appear less intrusive and allows for double-checking.
The holy grail of the biometrics industry is a scanning mechanism that is socially acceptable in an era of mass transit and 100 per cent accurate. Researchers are eager to produce ‘non-contact’ biometric systems that can check any individual’s identity at a distance.
The US government’s secretive IARPA (Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity) is seeking development proposals to enhance such technologies. Insisting that it is not interested in ‘contact-type’ biometrics, it asks for ideas that will “significantly advance the intelligence community’s ability to achieve high-confidence match performance … [for] high fidelity biometric signatures”.
The Humabio project, based in Greece, is involved more in blue-sky scientific thinking than in intelligence work. Its research, highlighted in the latest issue of Biometric Technology Today, is at a “pre-commercial, proof-of-concept stage”.
Source | See also under Biometrics: Moratorium sought on RFID driver’s licenses | Homeland Security seeks Bladerunner-style lie detector | Researchers use brain scans to read people’s memories | UK security whitepaper urges ‘end of privacy’ | Bestiality, suicide questions OK for job applicants, Halifax concludes | Indonesian AIDS patients face microchip monitoring | Halifax thinks again about subjecting applicants to lie-detector tests | UK Home Secretary: People ‘can’t wait’ for biometric ID cards | Parents, children to be fingerprinted at initial 250+ nursery schools in UK | Police will use new device to take fingerprints in street, vendors say face scanning next | Interpol wants facial recognition database to catch suspects | ‘Pre-crime’ detector shows promise | India’s use of brain scans in courts dismays critics | Satellites track Mexico kidnap victims with implanted chips | DNA of ‘blameless’ youths stored | Brain will be battlefield of future, warns US intelligence report | Scots schoolchildren to be fingerprinted in controversial ID scheme | RFID passport security defeated in minutes | UK DNA database turns ‘innocents into criminals’, warns watchdog | Eye scans, fingerprints to control NZ borders | Your turn to speak: Privacy chief seeking input on biometric ID plan | Ontario to issue Biometric ID Cards in Lieu of Standard Photo ID for Non-Drivers | Billboards that look back | US Homeland Security Keen on ‘Novel’ Israeli Airport Security Technology | Tanks, Face-Scanning Cameras Part of ‘Discreet’ 2010 Games Security | Newborn Blood-Storage Law Stirs Fears of DNA Warehouse | Tokyo Vending Machines Learn New Trick: Facial Recognition | Israel startup uses behavioral science to identify terrorists | Man spends 18 hours in police cell and has his DNA taken for ‘dropping an apple core’ | American Border Officers Want to Fingerprint Canadians at SPP Bridge | U.S. to collect DNA at border | Widen DNA dragnet: Police Chief Blair | American Security Czar: Biometric Data Not Private | North American ID card in the works through SPP | Canada working with FBI on ’server in the sky’ | Microsoft is developing Big Brother-style software capable of monitoring workers’ competence and productivity | FBI wants instant access to British, Canadian identity data | Alberta privacy commission to rule on bar scans | Prisoners ‘to be chipped like dogs’ | Microsoft readies Hal 9000 | UNBC students give thumbs down to fingerprint scanners | Give public biometrics the finger