Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Mark of the Beast

AP - Face scans for US citizens flying abroad stir privacy issues
The AP reports: "If the Trump administration gets its way, U.S. citizens boarding international flights will have to submit to a face scan, a plan privacy advocates call a step toward a surveillance state. The Department of Homeland Security says it’s the only way to successfully expand a program that tracks nonimmigrant foreigners. They have been required by law since 2004 to submit to biometric identity scans — but to date have only had their fingerprints and photos collected prior to entry. Now, DHS says it’s finally ready to implement face scans on departure — aimed mainly at better tracking visa overstays but also at tightening security. But, the agency says, U.S. citizens must also be scanned for the program to work. Privacy advocates say that oversteps Congress’ mandate."

Comment: It's been a while since we had a MOTB update. I'm not sure this really rises to the level of a good update. As you can see from the report, it's very tentative, part of me thinks "ok, let me know if they actually do require face scans" but the reality is that they probably will. Consumers have already demonstrated a willingness to surrender their privacy and their dignity in the name of travel safety, this is simply one more step. I suppose we should not be too alarmed, no doubt the biometric ID database will be well secured from hackers, right?  Finally, the usual caveat, I'm not saying that this or any other biometric tech is the MOTB, this is simply a tech trend worth keeping an eye on. 

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