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RFID Technology and Remote Finger Print Scanning Raises More Questions About Privacy

While PositiveID Corporation has completed a temperature-sensing microchip with its Wireless Body platform, Advanced Optical Systems (AOS) has built a remote finger print scanning device capable of remotely scanning for finger prints. Both technologies raise questions about privacy issues and potential misuse by governments.

PositiveID teamed up with RFID Solutions, to develop the temperature-sensing microchip for use in humans. The Company expects its Wireless Body platform will continue to evolve with the addition of other bio-sensing capabilities, including glucose-sensing through its GlucoChip™, which is currently under development. The Wireless Body will be designed to allow healthcare systems to communicate with each other and deliver information to and from patients.

Scott R. Silverman, Chairman and CEO of PositiveID, said, "With the completion of this first bio-sensing microchip we will also explore other bio-sensing functions to integrate with the Wireless Body through our patent for an embedded bio-sensor system to improve remote patient monitoring."

However, critics of the technology aren't praising the chip. Jonathan Wilcox, a privacy lawyer and critic of invasive biometric technologies says the chip brings corporations and government one step closer to tracking every aspect of our lives. "Bio-sensing technologies are far too invasive and easily manipulated to allow healthcare digital systems to track, record, store and catalogue private information which should only be transferable between patient and their health practitioner," said Wilcox. "The information could then be transferred to any third party company should the healthcare system deem it necessary."

Another company Advanced Optical Systems (AOS) is also doing its best to keep fingerprints as the preferred method of identification and now it can be done at a distance. The company has built a remote fingerprint scanner with the ability to accurately read a print up to two meters away, and military views the system as a tool for security checkpoints all over the world. The AIRPrint system is a significant upgrade over previous biometric security systems because it allows a person's identity to be confirmed by government or military personnel from behind the solid and immovable objects.

AIRPrint uses a source of polarized light and two 1.3 megapixel cameras (one to receive vertically polarized light and another to receive horizontally polarized light) in order to produce an accurate fingerprint. The prototype is able to scan and verify a print in under five seconds, and AOS claims that soon the equipment will be capable of reading five prints simultaneously while a person is moving toward or away from the device. The system will be ready for market in the third quarter of this year, which is a windfall for Big Brother.

Wilcox says the technology could easily be used to steal fingerprints from unsuspecting and innocent civilians who could then be exposed to identity theft. "Everything is going biometric, including many types of personal document and licensure requirements, so if this type of technology falls into the wrong hands, a new breed of crime could emerge and essentially duplicate the identity of another person in seconds."

Marco Torres is a research specialist, writer and consumer advocate for healthy lifestyles. He holds degrees in Public Health and Environmental Science and is a professional speaker on topics such as disease prevention, environmental toxins and health policy.


Reference Sources
January 20, 2011


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