Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


Global Biometrics Database, Coming to Soon to You

Raiders News Network quotes an Interpol press release, “G8 Give Green Light For Global Biometric Database:”

MUNICH, Germany – G8 Justice and Interior Ministers today endorsed a range of vital policing tools proposed by Interpol Secretary General Ronald K. Noble aimed at enhancing global security.

Secretary General Noble exposed the global problem of prison escapes of terrorists and other dangerous criminals not being promptly and adequately reported to police worldwide, thereby placing the citizens of all countries potentially at risk.

‘Moreover, the absence of a global protocol on sharing vital information such as fingerprints and photographs of escaped prisoners, including terrorists, constitutes a serious threat to the safety and security of citizens worldwide,’ he added.

Note the subtle use of the terrorist card. Note the utter lack of any mention of privacy, wrongful convictions, or the reality that refuseniks and dissidents will end up in the database, harrassed when they show up in other countries.

Don’t worry, your national ID registers won’t be checked against the database until computer power becomes a lot cheaper.

2 comments on "Global Biometrics Database, Coming to Soon to You"

  • Student says:

    Interpol has been around for a long time, their idea is to share information for police work. In this case it’s a database to track escaped prisoners. Frankly I don’t consider it a grave threat to the privacy of anybody. It’s a specialized database with a limited goal, just like the proposed database handling missing and unknown people.
    Almost all police forces in the world are members of interpol and they can all make requests to arrest people abroad and include whatever information they have about the person. However, interpol only handles a limited number of crimes and does not take any action on political crimes.
    In addition to this the actual actions are purely decided by the nation where the person is.
    If a person has fled jail and is in another country I think what do with him is far more an issue of politics than an issue of privacy.

  • Adam says:

    Student, you’re right. Today, it’s a limited database with a limited goal. I expect that the US will push to have it extended to sex offenders next, then the accused (we wouldn’t want international fugitives running around), and then… etc.

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