Or indeed, with any camera. In Germany, there is an ongoing discussion about biometric data – how secure it is, how easy it is to be faked etc. The Chaos Computer Club has added a little spice to the discussion by fetching and sharing the fingerprint of our Minister Schäuble, arguing that „by Schäuble’s definition, there is no difference between the personal data of, say, a photograph, and a finger print“. So, the CCC says, all they did was publishing a „finger photo“ of the minister.
The story gets even more interesting as the same CCC openly publishes a way to reproduce fingerprints to fool fingerprint scanners. Like all things the CCC does, they openly share ways to exploit security loopholes for the sole purpose that people lose their naive belief that theere are technologies that are actually „fool proof“ (or misuse proof). If people (and juries) think that fingerprints cannot be faked, any person (including Mr. Schäuble or you) can be arrested and sentenced on the grounds of fingerprints collected as proof.
The CCC way to fake fingerprints is quite easy – collect them from any smooth surface like a drinking glass or a product glass touched in a supermarket, use superfast glue to make them visible, scan them, print them on foil, paste the foil with wood clue, cut the fingerprint and paste it to your finger – and it even fools „pay per fingerprint“ system like the ones from EDEKA (a seven-eleven variant here in Germany).
There is a TV video on Youtube showing how it works – and comments on that Youtube video are already suggesting using the minister’s fingerprints to go shopping (which MAY not be a wise move, considering that those EDEKA shops have camera surveillance, duh ;) ).
Well, that’s it for today’s episode of the brave new world we’re living in, and what dark futures we are drifting to (because: Edeka and the manufacturer of the pay-per-fingerprint systems have already stated that they still feel the system to be safe and that they do not have any plan to change or replace it).
Stay tuned for the next episode, and be sure to check out this article from Great Britain where some criminologists feel they can predict which kid has an above-average chance to become a criminal at a later age, urging the politicians to pass laws that will allow the collecting of DNA samples from five-year-olds. Ooh, the fun of Cyberpunk NOW.
For aspiring German Cyberpunks: Here’s a link to the CCC’s FAQ on „all things dark and cyberpunk“ (like online and cell phone security issues etc.). As the address to the FAQs ends with „lang=de“ I believe there should be a „lang=en“ version as well, but I sure don’t see much of a difference by entering the changed address ;)