Can You Be Fingerprinted Without Your Knowledge? A New Technology Suggests That You Can.

Fingerprint scanner that can read prints from a distanceIf you are a biometrics news connoisseur like us then you are constantly combing through news about the market for knowledge of new technologies, market trends, consumer sentiment, growth projections and anything else significant.  It can sometimes be difficult to cut through the increasing clutter to find snippets of information that are interesting and technologies that seem cutting edge and could very well radically change the dynamic of the market.

Yesterday we ran across a story that we felt compared to share.  Apparently the story first surfaced back in January but must have flown under the radar when released since it wasn’t spotted in any mainstream news outlets or social media platforms.  The technology, called AIRprint developed by Advanced Optical Systems can reportedly, “scan fingerprints from up to two meters away, an approach that could prove especially useful at security checkpoints in places like Iraq and Afghanistan.”  Here is the link to the blog post that unearthed the story yesterday:

http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2011/05/fingerprint_sca.html

And here is a link to the original story:

http://www.technologyreview.com/biomedicine/27052/

Advanced Optical Systems reports that the potential commercial uses of the technology are in conditions where stand alone fingerprinting devices cause a logjam as people wait to use the hardware because they have to make direct contact and then wait again before they are verified.  Scheduled to be released in the third quarter of 2011, a possible suitor for the devices are the U.S. military as they seek to deploy fingerprinting devices that can scan individuals at a safe distance from the soldier processing the scan.

The article also clearly points out that it can identify fingerprints with or without someone’s knowledge. Considering the common perception that using biometric technology is a violation of individual privacy rights, we wondered what type of sandstorm that this technology would whip up when it starts being used by the U.S. Government?  Even though you can almost bank that the government will claim that it is used for security situations only in regions where they are actively engaged in warfare, there is sure to be those who will predict that this is just another sinister plot to gather biometric data of citizens in the U.S. to create a national biometric database.

What’s your take?

John Trader (219 Posts)

John Trader is the Public Relations and Marketing Manager with M2SYS Technology, a recognized industry leader in biometric identity management technology. Headquartered in Atlanta, GA M2SYS Technology's mission is to pioneer the high-tech industry by delivering long-term value to customers, employees and partners through continued innovation and excellence in all aspects of our business. M2SYS continues to innovate, build and bring to market leading-edge biometrics solutions that revolutionize the industry and expand the applicability of biometrics technology in our marketplace. You can view their Web site at www.m2sys.com or contact them via e-mail at info@m2sys.com