Glass half full, and covered with prints

Dave Kearns notes the city of Bozeman is walking back its requirement that applicants supply user ID and passwords to all social networking sites. But then he closes with:

Just one more reason to drop the use of passwords in favor of a biometric authentication. Even Bozeman, I’d hope, wouldn’t ask you to leave your finger on file!

Is the glass half empty or half full? Either way it’s covered with prints, which you should think about before jumping into biometrics. Then watch the Myth-Busters fool several fingerprint readers with covertly obtained fingerprint samples. After watching that you probably are going to start feeling uneasy about fingerprint readers.

And it seems facial recognition systems can be fooled with pictures of the face blown up to full size.

I wouldn’t bet the farm on voice authentication either.


2 responses to “Glass half full, and covered with prints

  1. Jeff, Jeff, Jeff –

    I’m not talking about fingerprint scanning systems for general net access but locally attached, locally stored fingerprint readers that act as SSO providers such as Upek’s Protector Suite QL (

  2. If you watch the Myth-Busters video included a link to, the first thing they do is break into a laptop using it’s finger print reader.

    If you use that to hold all your on-line passwords, you have now given up the keys to the kingdom.

    BTW, my shiny HP laptop case captures and store finger prints quite well. Mostly mine.

    No, I will never willingly use a finger print reader for authentication, thank you.

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