Biometrics has come to Oregon!

It was with one eyebrow raised that I read the article a few weeks ago about four County Sheriffs departments in Oregon incorporating Biometrics. Specifically eye scan technology. The story says that this is a way for law enforcement to be able to help identify children. Interesting premise. One could think that it is about time that Oregon incorporates the technology. But I wondered, “How else will this information be used in the future?”
It should be no surprise that this technology- the stuff of movies years ago- has come to be used in other countries. Columbia, Japan, Canada, and the Netherlands are all using this technology to some capacity from ATM machines, to grocery stores check outs to airplane pre-boarding. Even the local government in Oceanside California has begun using finger scanners to allow employees to get onto the networks in the offices eliminating the need for remembering passwords.

Is Oregon ready for such technology? Is the information safe? According to many companies on the forefront of this movement, biometrics is the “holy grail” of security. PIN numbers, passwords or cards can no longer be stolen. Each persons body parts are individual enough that a fingerprint scan, hand scan or eye scan can be narrowed down to one person. I get uncomfortable about the idea of having multiple institutions having this information about me no matter how safe it is suppose to be. It seems so personal, so private.

Interesting that the Sheriffs are starting with the children. The children are the first exposed to the use of this technology. Will they get used to biometrics and be open to having anything scanned? Isn’t that how it always works? Get the kids first and then the adults will follow. So brace yourselves”¦body scanning is coming to a government agency near you!