Fingerprint Building, Privacy Erosion

Posted on 25 Jul 2017


Here's a biometric building design, great idea for a crime lab. This building does not exist, it's a digital fake, but a true strange incident did occur involving fingerprints and a building:

The FBI once entered and demanded the fingerprints of everyone in a building, to be used to open iPhones. The idea was that they could search first and file charges later if they found anything, according to the Forbes article. Mass fingerprint seizure can happen in the US, the constitutional legality to be determined later.

Privacy is eroding worldwide. We might think it abhorrent that in parts of China police stop people and check that government phone control and censoring spyware, Jingwang, is installed. Is it true? There is the Great Firewall of China and there was the blocking of VPNs to eliminate privacy. China's censors monitor social media and they recently made headlines by censoring a children's cartoon used to make fun of a Chinese leader.

In the USA we know from Snowden that potentially every communication using an iPhone (plus Microsoft, AT&T, Skype, Yahoo, etc.) is tapped and stored with location and time stamp by the NSA. There was a small fuss when this was revealed, but nothing changed.

Do they have an AI spy system code named "Nobody" many wondered when President Obama admitted, "Nobody is listening to your phone calls"? Of course it's usually not a person listening, until the system that transcribes and scores all calls decides to flag you as potentially knowing about something you should not, right?

Do we have secret censorship in the USA? Yes. Is that a problem? Stories that should be big news just vanish, or details are changed and discounted as no big deal. Internet traffic dries up mysteriously, messages disappear or right when you are about to share something interesting … your phone or computer crashes.

What is the right balance between privacy and crime prevention?

Some have blind trust in "the man," others have blind distrust. I disagree with both extreme views, but I am certain that without privacy, citizens have no other rights. History is clear that giving up liberty to get protection results in neither.