Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Just a passing thought!

Doesn't it make sense to have fingerprint identification for voting, instead of the voter id cards we are given? This should also prevent bogus voting to a considerable extent. Agreed that it will not prevent people from capturing entire polling booths and then mass voting for the candidate of their choice, but it will atleast make sure misrepresenting identity during voting would not happen.

6 comments:

Sudhir Parasuram (Lakkaraju) said...

The "problem" with biometric identification is not with the verification as such, but the larger and greater threat that is posed at the datastore where your information is stored.

Note that if your _permanent_ identification - be it fingerprint, retina scan or something else was stored at one place (say the govt's) with no proper or adequate safegaurds in place, that is of a more dangerous threat than anything else.

I think you will get the picture now.

Cheers,
Sudhir.P

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Krishna said...

Sudhir, That shouldn't be a detterent for not using the technology. We dont think twice before consenting to the fingerprinting at the US Embassy, right? If we are OK with some other government taking out _permanant_ identification, but not our own, then there's a problem! I guess technologically India also can provide the same amount of safeguards like any other western country.

Sudhir Parasuram (Lakkaraju) said...

Un42nately, there's a difference between what is technologically possible and what is practically implementable/enforceable.

The biggest problems with the Indian scenario is that some of the related laws (privacy, archival/storage of personal information, etc) are either weak or non-existant and enforcement of law is even more dubious.

That's the reason I'm saying that it's better not to think about _permanent_ identification. The threat is bigger 'cos while our own folks _may_ probably make less misuse of this (I could be grossly mistaken), since such information is in electronic format, it can easily be used for unlawful activities by anyone across the world..

And, it is these thoughts that scare me.

Sudhir Parasuram (Lakkaraju) said...

Here goes my comment once again :)

Security guru Schneier has come up with a post that might interest you - Security risks of biometrics that might interest you.

Cheers,
Sudhir.P