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  • biometric check: if they require a still higher level of proof, they might ask you to present a fingerprint to be checked against those which you gave when you enrolled for the card. Identification: finding out, by searching for your details in the NIR, who you are. This might be used if you do not have your card with you.

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Since the necessary electronic fingerprint readers would be expensive, they would only be used for high-value transactions. Although it would take criminals some effort to outwit them, it would be worth their while because of the greater benefits of forging this "higher level" of proof, and studies have shown that it's certainly possible to fool fingerprint readers. In 2002 a Japanese research team produced fake gelatine "fingers" from fingerprints left on glass that fooled all 11 sensors they tested 80% of the time.[1] In August 2006 Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman of the TV programme "Mythbusters" used similar techniques to completely defeat high-security fingerprint door locks.[2]

[1] T. Matsumoto, H. Matsumoto, K. Yamada, S. Hoshino, "Impact of Artificial Gummy Fingers on Fingerprint Systems", Proceedings of SPIE Vol. #4677, Optical Security and Counterfeit Deterrence Techniques IV, 2002,

[2] Mythbusters, Episode 59 "Crimes and Myth-Demeanors 2", originally aired 23rd August 2006, Discovery Channel,

Posted by Andrew Watson on 2007-03-06 08:25:05.
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