Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


Cool Tech at RSA: i-Mature

At RSA, I didn’t get a demo, but did talk to John Brainard of RSA about i-Mature, a fascinating biometrics company.
There’s been some discussion on Interesting People. Vin McClellan discusses the tech, Seth Finkelstein maps their web site, reporter Andy Sullivan plays with one, Lauren Weinstein on probable attacks, Herb Lin on the limits of the tech. Some folks wanted to believe that the tech is to magically distinguish 18 year olds from 17 year olds. All of these were discussing the online use of the technology.

I think much more useful and practical is to reduce the demand for ID cards for drinking. If we can reliably, and anonymously, discover that Alice is over 21, then Alice doesn’t need to carry an ID. This is a good thing. Bars would go for this, if it’s both cheap and legally covered, because they sometimes have people who would like to buy drinks who don’t have ID. Bars, being businesses, would like to serve them, if they could manage their liability. So I hope this technology takes off.