Show Your High-Tech ID

Technology Review – Show Your High-Tech ID. Trevor Darrell, who researches biometrics at MIT, is developing applications that go beyond traditional face, hand or iris recognition. He demonstrated a system to identify people by the way they walk; another to do it by the way they talk; and a third to spot suspicious behavior, such as someone walking up to the door of every car in a parking lot.

“We may soon have ubiquitous surveillance, where you can track people over a long time in public spaces and private spaces,” Darrell said. “We all want public anonymity for ourselves. But do you want it for your neighbor? Do you want it for your airplane seatmate?”

>Deborah Hurley, director of the Harvard Information Infrastructure Project, said the U.S. has been slow to answer such questions. “In many countries, privacy is a human right,” she said. Some nations guarantee privacy in their constitution, in ways similar to the U.S.'s fourth and fifth amendment rights, she noted. But “U.S. citizens find themselves with very little protection for their personal information.” [Privacy Digest]

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