Privacy Issues Surrounding Biometric Technology

The terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center have provoked in-depth discussion and study of existing security measures, their deficiencies, and how to enhance security to prevent similar terrorist attacks from occurring in the future. Biometric technology has risen to the top of the list as a possible solution. The government is not the only entity exploring biometric security systems. The financial services industry see biometrics as a way to curb identity theft. Biometrics are intrinsic physical characteristics used to identify individuals. The most commonly used biometric is fingerprints but others include, handprints, facial features, iris & retinal scans, and voice recognition.

Soon after 9/11 there were calls for the issuance of national ID cards containing biometric information on an RFID chip implanted on the card. The argument is that national ID cards will increase security by identifying individuals with their unique fingerprints which are much more difficult to counterfeit than standard photo ID cards. There is also a movement toward biometric passports. It looks like biometric passports are coming soon. National ID cards may follow.

Biometric identification is nothing new. Humans have been identifying other humans biometrically since the beginning of time. You recognize people you know by their facial features, their voice, and other biometric features. What’s new is introducing technology into the mix that compares a given biometric with a stored database of biometrics to verify the identity of an individual. An individual place their finger on a fingerprint scanner and the image is compared with the database to verify the person’s identity. Promising as it is, biometric technology has not been without hiccups but biometrics are advancing quickly and becoming more and more prevalent in security systems.

Fingerprints are the most commonly used biometric identifiers. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) conducted a study that showed single fingerprint biometric systems had a 98.6 percent accuracy rate. The accuracy rate rose to 99.6 percent when 2 fingerprints were used and an almost perfect 99.9 percent when 4 or more fingerprints were used. The study results show that biometric identification is nearly perfect which is not surprising given the uniqueness of human fingerprints.

The US-VISIT program, which is an acronym for United States Visitor & Immigrant Status Indicator Technology, currently requires foreign visitors to the US to present a biometric passport containing 2 fingerprints and a digital photo for identification purposes before being granted admission to the U.S. Of course the biometrics are compared against a vast network of government databases full of known and suspected terrorists and other criminals.

On the surface biometric technology may sound like a panacea but it’s use has raised significant privacy concerns that need to be addressed. Here are six major privacy concerns: storage, vulnerability, confidence, authenticity, linking, and ubiquity.

Critics wonder how the data will be stored and how vulnerable it will be to theft or abuse. Confidence issues center around the implications of false positives and false negatives. Can the biometric data be used to link to other information about the individual such as marital status, religion, employment status, etc.? And finally ubiquity. What are the implications of leaving electronic “bread crumbs” to mark a trail detailing every movement an individual makes?

Until these issues are addressed, privacy advocates will lead a charge to resist biometric technology claiming it as a way for the government to assume a “Big Brother” type of rule as described in George Orwell’s novel 1984. But protest as they may, it’s likely national security concerns and the ability of biometric systems to enhance the security of US border and possibly prevent another major terrorist attack will win out over privacy concerns.

Why Use Paid Sites For Phone Number Information?

You may be wondering about this when you would have seen so many free reverse phone search websites advertising their services. If a reverse cell phone lookup service is available for free, then why would anyone pay for it somewhere else? Also, what is the big deal really? If you need to perform a reverse cell phone lookup, then you should be able to do it as it is your right to know the source of mysterious calls.

Yet, reverse phone search websites remain to be paid services. This is because of various reasons, the primary ones being that cell phone information of every person is a private data, and then, due to ethical and moral reasons, reverse phone search services should not be made publicly available.

You would have often been harassed by plenty of telemarketers trying to sell you insurance or financial products that you do not need. This happens even after you have selected the option on the phone number application form that you would not like to be listed on public databases.

When you sign up such forms, the phone company would ensure that your number is protected in their database, and that it does not show up publicly. This restricts the accessibility of your number to telemarketing companies. They would then have to look for other ways to get your phone number. Just imagine then, what your look would be if there was a database where everyone's phone numbers, including yours was to be publicly listed.

You would never be able to catch a moment's peace. This is the reason why it is required for every reverse phone search company to acquire a license with the government at first. They have to sign sign agreements with service providers as well as the government that they would never make their databases accessible to public.

So, every time you need to do a reverse cell phone lookup, you have to pay a fee. Also, if you are actually trying to get the phone number information of a person, then you would most certainly want the most recent data. The reverse phone search companies that have a reputation in the area ensure that their databases are maintained accurately by incorporating feeds continuously to update their databases.

Also, if you can imagine the total number of phone numbers in the country, then you would have to agree that in order to provide accurate information, the reverse phone search databases would have to be huge. This would require the reverse phone search companies to spend a lot of money on infrastructure, technology, and human resources.

5 Reasons Why Fiber Optic Patch Cables Are Beneficial

In the modern era of technology, fiber optics has started to play an important role in data transfer and communication. The data transfer that happens in these cables is based upon the technology of optical networks. Light waves are encoded and modulated to send and receive data. And fiber optic patch cables play an important role in completing the end-to-end connection of systems using this technology.

First of all, let us understand what makes the optical fiber communication important. The fiber optics makes sure that certain desired properties of any communication are satisfied. And the quality that they maintain with respect to these properties makes using these network cables desirable.

Interestingly, the fiber optic patch cables require being compatible with all these properties to keep up with the network quality. So the attributes desirable of the fiber cables are also good for the patches. Some of the important properties are listed below.

Rate of data transfer: Data of high volume can easily be transferred using the optic cables. In fact, with the mainline network cables, one can transfer terabytes of data every second as done in case of the worldwide Internet exchange data. The same can be said about the fiber optic patch cables. The bandwidth of these cables is extremely high.

Speed of communication: The physical communication happens over modulated waves of light. As a result, the speed of communication is extremely fast with the fiber optic networks. One can use these networks to access real time data across the globe. The patch cables are compatible with the speed and they can transfer data at the same speed as the main network cable.

Absence of attenuation: Attenuation of signal is a critical factor in most of the networks. However, for an optical network, this is practically absent. The data can traverse along the network with no amplifier installed in the route. The patch cables also do not attenuate the data.

Accuracy of transferred data: The transfer of data takes place with a high degree of accuracy. The data suffers from practically no external hindrance. No signal coming form outside really changes anything about the data. As a result, the data transfer preserves the accuracy of information exchange. The fiber optic patch cables maintain high levels of accuracy when it comes to data transfer.

Security factors: Fiber optic patch cables are as secure as the overall optical fiber network. They are extremely difficult to break into and hence the possibility of data leaking out of the network is practically minimal.

All of the above makes using fiber optic patch cables beneficial when it comes to real life application. Make sure that you have got the right patch with the right length and aperture, and you are all set to enjoy the benefits of a secure and high speed communication.