Crikey! What in the Bloomin’ Onion is going on in Australia?

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For those of you that follow international biometric news, you may have caught wind that a mandatory biometric fingerprint identification program at bars and nightclubs has stirred up quite the hornet’s nest in Australia.  Here is a link to the story for you to catch yourself up to speed:

National biometric pub list use ‘explodes’

It appears that the idea to institute a biometric ID system for bars and nightclubs stemmed from an earlier edict that biometrics was going to be used as the technology to help curtail poker machine abuse which also appears to be a significant problem in this country of slightly under 22,000,000 citizens.   Why then has the decision by bars and nightclubs to use biometric identification (along with copies of driver’s licenses and photos of each individual) so important and why are a lot of people in a tizzy over this biometric ID program?

Well, the program is designed to crack down on violence at these venues, which is apparently spiraling out of control.  However, since the databases that capture and store the biometric identification of each person are not covered by privacy laws and thus not regulated by the government, administration and protection of the data is left solely to the technology companies that store it.

Although participation in the biometric ID program is voluntary, many venues are scrambling to install the system due to the negative publicity, reputation damage and lost revenue that even a small amount of violence can bring.  And, it’s working.  According to the article, “alcohol related incidences have dropped by 80% in some venues that use the biometric scanners…”  Chronic violent offenders have just been keeping their distance from these places simply because they are afraid of being caught.

So then, what’s the issue that has left Australians mad as a cut snake?  As usual, when you talk about biometric technology, you can’t help but stir thoughts of biometric vendor enrollment template security and the compromising of that data by hackers stealing the information.

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Well, we can’t speak for other biometric vendors but the M2SYS hybrid biometric platform does not store any biometric images and it is impossible to recreate the original biometric image if a hacker were to steal the biometric enrollment template.  As we have stated before, biometric identity enrollment templates stored on a server or computers are not actually images at all.  They are a mathematical representation of the data points that a biometric algorithm extracts from a scanned fingerprint, finger vein, palm vein or iris. The identity template is simply a binary data file, a series of zeros and ones.  The algorithm then uses the template to positively identify an individual during subsequent fingerprint scans.  No image is ever stored or transmitted across a network.

We will keep our eyes peeled for more news on this story and keep you posted on any new developments.  If you are reading this and saying “Pig’s arse!” to the decision by the clubs in Australia to use biometric technology, then please share your comments below…

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John Trader

John Trader is the Public Relations and Marketing Manager with M2SYS Technology, a recognized industry leader in biometric identity management technology. Headquartered in Atlanta, GA M2SYS Technology's mission is to pioneer the high-tech industry by delivering long-term value to customers, employees and partners through continued innovation and excellence in all aspects of our business. M2SYS continues to innovate, build and bring to market leading-edge biometrics solutions that revolutionize the industry and expand the applicability of biometrics technology in our marketplace. You can view their Web site at www.m2sys.com or contact them via e-mail at info@m2sys.com

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