Johanna Faust, a mixed race Jew, prefers to publish pseudonymously. She is committed: first, to preventing war, ecological disaster, and nuclear apocalypse; last to not only fighting for personal privacy & the freedom of information, but, by representing herself as a soldier in that fight, to exhorting others to do the same. She is a poet, always. All these efforts find representation here: "ah, Mephistophelis" is so named after the last line of Christopher Marlowe's Dr. Faustus, whose heretical success flouted the censor for a time.

Fear: iPhone Fingerprinting Functions to Force Failure of the Fifth

A most perspicacious observation by Marcia Hoffman over at Wired: the unintended cnsequences looming with that the new iphone 5's dependence on fingerprints, instead of pins or passwords, for security.   Sure, one would expect this to result in spoofed prints, chopped off fingers, and otherwise gruesome false positives -- but I for one didn't  expect it to threaten what little is left of the Bill of Rights....

Apple’s Fingerprint ID May Mean You Can’t ‘Take the Fifth’

Because the constitutional protection of the Fifth Amendment, which guarantees that “no person shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself,” may not apply when it comes to biometric-based fingerprints (things that reflect who we are) as opposed to memory-based passwords and PINs (things we need to know and remember).
 The privilege against self-incrimination is an important check on the government’s ability to collect evidence directly from a witness. The Supreme Court has made it clear that the Fifth Amendment broadly applies not only during a criminal prosecution, but also to any other proceeding “civil or criminal, formal or informal,” where answers might tend to incriminate us. It’s a constitutional guarantee deeply rooted in English law dating back to the 1600s, when it was used to protect people from being tortured by inquisitors to force them to divulge information that could be used against them.
For the privilege to apply, however, the government must try to compel a person to make a “testimonial” statement that would tend to incriminate him or her. When a person has a valid privilege against self-incrimination, nobody — not even a judge — can force the witness to give that information to the government.
But a communication is “testimonial” only when it reveals the contents of your mind. We can’t invoke the privilege against self-incrimination to prevent the government from collecting biometrics like fingerprints, DNA samples, or voice exemplars. Why? Because the courts have decided that this evidence doesn’t reveal anything you know. It’s not testimonial.
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1 comment:

  1. Never mind that they can cut your finger or make a quality copy with a wax model or something (a mere codified digital copy surely works too). I reckon such thing is "practical" (who doesn't hate passwords, never mind captchas) but it can lead to falsification like anything else.