Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


Proof of Age in UK Pilot

There’s a really interesting article by Toby Stevens at Computer Weekly, “Proof of age comes of age:” It’s therefore been fascinating to be part of a new initiative that seeks to address proof of age using a Privacy by Design approach to biometric technologies. Touch2id is an anonymous proof of age system that uses fingerprint […]


Another personal data invariant that varies

Just about anything a database might store about a person can change. People’s birthdays change (often because they’re incorrectly reported or recorded). People’s gender can change. One thing I thought didn’t change was blood type, but David Molnar pointed out to me that I’m wrong: Donors for allogeneic stem-cell transplantation are selected based on their […]


Makeup Patterns to hide from face detection

Adam Harvey is investigating responses to the growing ubiquity of surveillance cameras with facial recognition capabilities. He writes: My thesis at ITP, is to research and develop privacy enhancing counter technology. The aim of my thesis is not to aid criminals, but since artists sometimes look like criminals and vice versa, it is important to […]


Biometric Fail reported

A South Korean woman entered Japan on a fake passport in April 2008 by slipping through a state-of-the-art biometric immigration control system using special tape on her fingers to alter her fingerprints, it was learned Wednesday… During questioning, the woman allegedly told the immigration bureau that she had bought a forged passport from a South […]


You can’t change your fingerprint

One of the most useful things you can do to protect your passwords is to change them regularly. This bounds the effect of many attacks which obtain your password, by various cracking techniques or by mistakenly entering it in the wrong place. After you’ve changed your password, the old one doesn’t do any good. This […]


Fingerprinting At Disney: The Police-Entertainment Complex

In “Walt Disney World: The Government’s Tomorrowland?” Karen Harmel and Laura Spadanuta discuss how Disney has moved from finger geometry (to constrain ticket re-sale) to fingerprinting their customers. I think the most important bit about this is about the links between Disney and the government: Former Disney employees have filled some of the most sensitive […]