Jerry Fishenden has been posting about biometrics recently, and I'll comment on the issues over the next little while. But before we get there, just to put everything in perspective, here's a piece from the BBC, quoted by Jerry, that I missed when it first came out.
Police in Malaysia are hunting for members of a violent gang who chopped off a car owner's finger to get round the vehicle's hi-tech security system.
The car, a Mercedes S-class, was protected by a fingerprint recognition system.
Accountant K Kumaran's ordeal began when he was run down by four men in a small car as he was about to get into his Mercedes in a Kuala Lumpur suburb.
The gang, armed with long machetes, demanded the keys to his car. It is worth around $75,000 second-hand on the local market, where prices are high because of import duties.
The attackers forced Mr Kumaran to put his finger on the security panel to start the vehicle, bundled him into the back seat and drove off.
But having stripped the car, the thieves became frustrated when they wanted to restart it. They found they again could not bypass the immobiliser, which needs the owner's fingerprint to disarm it.
They stripped Mr Kumaran naked and left him by the side of the road – but not before cutting off the end of his index finger with a machete.
Police believe the gang is responsible for a series of thefts in the area.
Note to self: don't purchase technology based on retinal scans.
Future discussion: not only “things you are” but “things you know” can ultimately expose you to harm.
P.S. Who would ever buy an S-Class?