Wanted: Gordon Brown's fingerprints, £1,000 reward
No2ID and PI get after the Smith &
Jones Brown ID heist team
A £1,000 reward has been posted for the fingerprints of Prime Minster Gordon Brown and Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, both of whom, claim perpetrators No2ID and Privacy International, are "wanted identity felons". In a campaign Wanted Poster the campaign groups claim that their plan to "steal the fingerprints of the entire British population... will be the identity theft crime of the century."
Any fingerprints submitted should, say the groups, be lawfully obtained and provided with corroborating evidence; beer glasses, doorknobs or any object with a hard surface will however be accepted as entries. Should they manage to get hold of the pair's fingerprints, the two groups intend to make them publicly available, following the example of the Chaos Computer Club, which recently open sourced the German interior minister's fingerprints.
Are No2ID and Privacy International doing anything illegal? PI Director Simon Davies was philosophical, telling The Register, "I'm sure they can cook up something if they want to." But he warned of the dangers inherent in the Government's plans: "The government is blindingly ignorant that biometrics in the future will be crucial to personal security. It seems to believe that personal security equates only to the personal security that government offers. Unless government can come up with a framework for secure biometric revocation, it's criminally irresponsible to demand fingerprints. And it would be folly for us to give them away to government without a fight."
No2ID National Coordinator Phil Booth meanwhile challenged Smith and
Jones Brown to turn themselves in for the good of the country: "If they truly believe that the ID scheme will 'secure' their personal identities, the best thing Gordon Brown and Jacqui Smith could do would be to surrender their OWN fingerprints and get us to donate the grand to a charity of their choice. Failing to surrender their fingerprints could be seen as tacit acknowledgement that they have no real faith in their own scheme."
The posters are intended to be used in a marketing campaign, and so long as they are widely distributed (various formats downloadable here), we should soon be seeing pictures of Smith and
Jones Brown wearing gloves indoors and looking nervous. Kebab shops in particular should be on the alert, while Browns fingerprints are thought to be all over the 2008 Budget. ®
I've got his finger prints. Let look a bit like mine but they are his honest!
or to put it another way how would someone who claimed to have the fingerprints be able to prove they were el gordo's?
How do you prove who you are?
Say you're a known figure with a common name, say like Gordon Brown, with a bunch of data spread over the internet and public sources, where anyone can find out your date of birth, your mother's maiden name, address(es) where you live, maybe even your favourite place or favourite band from interviews you've given, and then it wouldn't be so hard for someone to get a copy of your birth certificate and maybe apply for a credit card in your name, or there are probably shops or restaurants out there who can get your credit card or bank account number.
So it must be really really difficult to prove that you're THE Gordon Brown and not some impersonator. And that you really didn't order all the blow-up dolls, or the size 44 stocking and suspender set. Or the build it yourself grenade launcher.
In an on-line world where everything can be copied and cloned, how do you prove you are who you say you are and that your identity hasn't been hijacked?
Renting out my biometric data
Personally, I'm quite happy for the government to have my biometric data on record providing there is some suitable recompense for keeping that data. I suggest something in the region of 50GBP per month per instance. For sure, it being on two separate database is two separate instances.
Of course this depends on the whole "biometric data is my property" argument. But then if they compel me to submit my biometric data (rather than following me around for a couple of weeks getting my data off pint-glasses), I'd consider it like somewhat like a in-voluntary sperm bank.
Anyway it's not about whether they have your biometric data or not, it's about the implementation of the system that contains your biometric data. It's not like the government have covered themselves in glory on that front.