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Re: Apple's fingerprint sensor may be the biggest leap forward in payments since the credit card

From: Charles McCathie Nevile <chaals@yandex-team.ru>
Date: Wed, 11 Sep 2013 17:58:52 +0400
To: "Web Payments CG" <public-webpayments@w3.org>, "Charles Evans" <cevans@chyden.net>
Message-ID: <op.w282gekdy3oazb@chaals.local>
On Wed, 11 Sep 2013 15:47:43 +0400, Charles Evans <cevans@chyden.net>  

> On 09/10/2013 09:55 PM, Scott Elcomb wrote:
>> [W]hat happens when the encryption protecting that biometric
>> information is broken?
> Get a hand transplant.

Which sums up what is good and bad about the proposal.

It is possible to make artificial fingers. Luckily, because there are  
people who don't have any of their own. And those can be handed around in  
the way that some people lend their credit card to other people - it might  
be against the terms and conditions, but it is helpful in the real world.

But while most people don't lose their fingers most of the time (even  
butchers and people in packing factories), fingerprints aren't quite the  
infallible tool some would have us believe.

And while anonymity is indeed very difficult, the existing uses of  
fingerprints combined with a payment system based on them would certainly  
increase the trackability of people's everyday actions. There is a  
societal debate about how much to allow the use of "cash" - more-or-less  
anonymous and untracked money - with privacy being on one side and the  
ability to discover whether people are paying correct taxes on the other.  
Of course many other issues are relevant. I don't believe it is the place  
of technologists to dictate to society what it should want, although in  
reality society cannot simply demand technology to fulfil its every whim.  
But these issues are part of what determines whether a particular  
technology is likely to be welcomed or blocked as far as possible...

Interesting times indeed.



Charles McCathie Nevile - Consultant (web standards) CTO Office, Yandex
       chaals@yandex-team.ru         Find more at http://yandex.com
Received on Wednesday, 11 September 2013 13:59:21 UTC

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