TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Supermarket: Let Your Fingers do the Paying

Re: Supermarket: Let Your Fingers do the Paying
Tue, 8 Feb 2005 20:09:52 UTC

George Mitchell <> wrote:

> It's easy to forget that, once your fingerprint has been scanned into
> the store's system, now this impossible-to-forget, impossible-to-forge
> identification is stored on their system, ready to be replayed at will
> by anyone with access to their computer.

I don't know how the store systems are set up. I do know that we have
two door lock fingerprint scanners where I work. These scanners
apparently store the fingerprint info locally to themselves because I
had to have my fingerprint read into each separately. They could not
share the scan/image from one to the other. Seemed like a poor setup
to me, but it made me less worried about that scanned image getting
loose in the world if they could not even transmit the info from one
scanner to another of the exact same make and model.

I'm not sure what anyone could do with my scanned fingerprint anyway.
If someone could get it out of the scanner on the door lock system
they could also get into my office and borrow my coffee cup to get a
more complete set. In the case of a store system as we have been
talking about, anyone with enough access to get my fingerprint image
out of the system could simply charge stuff to my account directly
anyway. I suppose someone could frame me for a major crime with my
fingerprint, but I can't imagine who would go to all that bother or

Bill Ranck
Blacksburg, Va.

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