The March of Inevitability

This is a cheap fingerprint reader intended for use with a PC. Cool in theory - rather than needing a password to log into the machine, you simply use your fingerprint. Different users on the same computer could all have secured access to the machine with no passwords required - just fingerprints.

However, as with all technologies, the cool aspects merely mask the insidious aspects. Fingerprint readers are poised to take off in all sorts of areas, or already have. On recent trips to Canada and Europe, I noticed the "Fast track" customs lines where folks who have signed up for the program get to go through "speed" lines, where there is a fingerprint and iris reader. Like here:
It's convenient! The lure of many intrusive technologies. On a trip to China a few years ago, I noticed (in horror!) that Hong Kong residents had to go through a biometric checkpoint in order to enter China. And that will no doubt become more and more prevalent across the world.

"You have nothing to fear if you have nothing to hide" the authoritarians among us will say. But that is a false assumption - it should not have to be on the individual to justify his/her desire for privacy. But that's the world we're living in now, and it's only going to get worse. Accept this as an impending reality, and prepare yourself accordingly.

If you care.

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