Feeds

DIY fingerprint idea thwarts ID thieves

Thumbs up

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

The Home Office is touting ID cards as a solution to ID theft in today's Queen's Speech but a Yorkshire man has taken matters into his own hands. Jamie Jameson, a civil servant from Scarborough in North Yorkshire, insists that credit can only be extended in his name on production of a thumbprint.

Jameson hit on the idea of writing to the UK's three main credit reference agencies - Equifax, Experian and Call Credit - and requesting that they put a 'Notice of Correction' on his file stating that a print must be offered with applications for loans or credit cards issued in his name. At the same time he submitted his fingerprint.

This Notice of Correction of the first thing a prospective lender will see when it calls up his records. Normally this facility provides a way for individuals to explain why they have a county court judgement against their name or other qualifications to their credit history. Jameson is using it to do a cheap security check.

Although uncommon in the UK, thumbprints are often used as an audit mechanism for people cashing cheques in US banks. A similar scheme was trialled in Wales. Jameson takes a little ink pad similar to that used in US banks around with him all the time just in case he might need it.

If an application for credit is accepted without a thumbprint - against Jameson's express instructions - then he will not be liable for losses. If a would-be fraudster gives a false print on an application then it makes it easier for them to be traced by the police. "Lenders don’t have to match prints. Using prints just establishes an audit trail if anything goes wrong," Jameson explained. "It's not so much me proving who I am as preventing someone else being me."

Jameson has been using the idea successfully for over a year. He concedes that the scheme isn't foolproof and that it's possible to fake fingerprints ("nothing’s perfect," as he puts it). As far as Jameson knows he's the only person who's using the technique in the UK. The scheme delays the issuing of credit, which could be a problem with people who apply for multiple accounts but this is a minor inconvenience for Jameson. "This is driven by the individual so there are no data protection issues. It's a real deterrent to ID theft," he told El Reg. ®

Related stories

World's largest ID theft felon faces 14 years' jail
Gov.uk launches anti-fraud website
ID cards to use 'key database' of personal info
Boffins test voice-activated secure credit card
Fingerprints as ID - good, bad, ugly?
Fraudsters prey on apathetic Brits
UK ID theft gang jailed for £350K fraud
Biometric sensors beaten senseless in tests
Gummi bears defeat fingerprint sensors

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Ice cream headache as black hat hacks sack Dairy Queen
I scream, you scream, we all scream 'DATA BREACH'!
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
JLaw, Kate Upton exposed in celeb nude pics hack
100 women victimised as Apple iCloud accounts reportedly popped
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
New Snowden leak: How NSA shared 850-billion-plus metadata records
'Federated search' spaffed info all over Five Eyes chums
Three quarters of South Korea popped in online gaming raids
Records used to plunder game items, sold off to low lifes
Oz fed police in PDF redaction SNAFU
Give us your metadata, we'll publish your data
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.