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Re: global names are a security flaw

Ed Gerck wrote:
> My fingerprint, retina scan and DNA sequence and are three examples of
> global names. Their existence would never mean a security flaw -- on the
> contrary, they may allow myself to prove innocence in court.  Conversely,
> to pick a simple example (cf Bohm), if a man charged with a crime is seen
> on video footage committing it, and has the same DNA and fingerprints of
> which evidence was found at the scene, his birth name and place of birth
> are irrelevant:  he has been identified as the criminal by his global
> "names":  fingerprints and DNA.

Seems to me that biometrics are all well and good, except that you have
the fundamental bootstrap problem of securely associating the biometric
with the proper person. If this is done at birth for every human it
would probably be made to work very well. However, given the great
resistance, in the U.S and other countries, even to national id cards
and numbers, the biometric-cert-issued-at-birth scenario isn't going to
happen. And even if it did start to happen tomorrow, there are already
some 5 or 6 billion people running around who do not have such
credentials. Equipping them with those credentials, even supposing it's
ethically and politically feasible, runs into precisely the kind of
problem Carl described.


Bill Buffam
Unisys, Malvern PA

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