Saturday, July 30, 2005

Random RFID update: The US-Canadian border gets high tech

This item was posted to one of the listservs I belong to.

Selected quote:

As part of the [controversial US-VISIT] program, U.S.-bound landed immigrants, or any other non-Canadian citizen who requires a temporary VISA to enter the U.S. for business or pleasure, would have to undergo biometric digital photographs when they cross the border, as well as finger scans at a secondary inspection centre on subsequent visits.

The information is stored and cross-referenced with an FBI databases to determine if visitors might be wanted for immigration issues, or are on a list of suspected terrorist links.

Canadian citizens are the only ones in the world who are exempt from US-VISIT. However, thanks to lobbing by the Canadian Trucking Alliance and other business trade groups, the U.S. has also to some degree exempted permanent resident truck drivers from the program. (emphasis added) |Link|
Of course the US-Canadian border is the world's largest ungaurded border. So I don't think this will keep terrorists from coming into the country. And how many terrorists do we have biometric information on already?

I suppose a photo is simple biometric information. So do you think this means they're running facial recognition software on the database?

Even if this system doesn't catch (m)any terrorists, it will compile a great deal of information for data mining.

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