On 27 November, the Chaos Computer Club’s “biometrics experts” and journalists working for German TV Magazine PlusMinus, demonstrated how easy it is to beat the biometrics tests planned for passports and identity cards.
In front of running cameras, a fingerprint scanner installed at a supermarket checkout was deceived, charging the transaction to someone else’s account. The journalists of the TV magazine were able to trick the point-of-sale system with forged fingerprints after only a short tutorial from CCC experts.
This effectively rubbishes the claims made by biometrics proponents and security system manufacturers that such forgery is only possible under “laboratory conditions”.
The fingerprinting system tricked here is the same used in biometric-equipped passports. It is also the standard planned for German ID cards – and also the likely system for the proposed UK identity card.
If a couple of journos can defeat the system after a brief tutorial, how on earth can the authorities claim that identity documents will be secure? Yet that is exactly what we are being told! ID cards won’t be worth the plastic they’re printed on… any two-bit crook will be able to assume your identity.
These cards are not meant to save us from “identity theft”. Really, they will be used as part of the growing surveillance culture. Each card will contain a chip carrying a bewildering amount of your personal information. And this info won’t just be readable by your friendly neighbourhood policeman – the criminals will have your entire life history on tap.
Yet the authorities are still intent on pushing these identity document laws on us. We must stop them! RESIST!!