Privacy Issues Surrounding Biometric Technology

The terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center have provoked in-depth discussion and study of existing security measures, their deficiencies, and how to enhance security to prevent similar terrorist attacks from occurring in the future. Biometric technology has risen to the top of the list as a possible solution. The government is not the only entity exploring biometric security systems. The financial services industry see biometrics as a way to curb identity theft. Biometrics are intrinsic physical characteristics used to identify individuals. The most commonly used biometric is fingerprints but others include, handprints, facial features, iris & retinal scans, and voice recognition.

Soon after 9/11 there were calls for the issuance of national ID cards containing biometric information on an RFID chip implanted on the card. The argument is that national ID cards will increase security by identifying individuals with their unique fingerprints which are much more difficult to counterfeit than standard photo ID cards. There is also a movement toward biometric passports. It looks like biometric passports are coming soon. National ID cards may follow.

Biometric identification is nothing new. Humans have been identifying other humans biometrically since the beginning of time. You recognize people you know by their facial features, their voice, and other biometric features. What’s new is introducing technology into the mix that compares a given biometric with a stored database of biometrics to verify the identity of an individual. An individual place their finger on a fingerprint scanner and the image is compared with the database to verify the person’s identity. Promising as it is, biometric technology has not been without hiccups but biometrics are advancing quickly and becoming more and more prevalent in security systems.

Fingerprints are the most commonly used biometric identifiers. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) conducted a study that showed single fingerprint biometric systems had a 98.6 percent accuracy rate. The accuracy rate rose to 99.6 percent when 2 fingerprints were used and an almost perfect 99.9 percent when 4 or more fingerprints were used. The study results show that biometric identification is nearly perfect which is not surprising given the uniqueness of human fingerprints.

The US-VISIT program, which is an acronym for United States Visitor & Immigrant Status Indicator Technology, currently requires foreign visitors to the US to present a biometric passport containing 2 fingerprints and a digital photo for identification purposes before being granted admission to the U.S. Of course the biometrics are compared against a vast network of government databases full of known and suspected terrorists and other criminals.

On the surface biometric technology may sound like a panacea but it’s use has raised significant privacy concerns that need to be addressed. Here are six major privacy concerns: storage, vulnerability, confidence, authenticity, linking, and ubiquity.

Critics wonder how the data will be stored and how vulnerable it will be to theft or abuse. Confidence issues center around the implications of false positives and false negatives. Can the biometric data be used to link to other information about the individual such as marital status, religion, employment status, etc.? And finally ubiquity. What are the implications of leaving electronic “bread crumbs” to mark a trail detailing every movement an individual makes?

Until these issues are addressed, privacy advocates will lead a charge to resist biometric technology claiming it as a way for the government to assume a “Big Brother” type of rule as described in George Orwell’s novel 1984. But protest as they may, it’s likely national security concerns and the ability of biometric systems to enhance the security of US border and possibly prevent another major terrorist attack will win out over privacy concerns.

Earn Money Online From Writing Product Reviews

It's surprising to see how many people spend their time writing up their opinions and feelings on the latest Stephen King book, or the latest Red Hot Chilli Peppers album; and then just upload them to their personal blog or article website (like this one). Most people do not realize that there is a website that actually pays people to write their opinion on thousands of products which are listed on their own website.

These product review websites are free to join, and they will pay you every time another member reads and rates one of your reviews. You can also be rewarded at the end of the month, when a selection of the month's best reviews will earn a 'premium fund'; usually around 5 or 10 pounds.

It's probably quite hard to understand why these websites are paying you just to write your opinion on a product. It is also quite hard to explain why they do so, but I will try to do my best. By writing a review and leaving feedback for a product, the manufacturers are getting publicity and (usually) are getting some free praise. These reviews are used on the database of thousands of products, and they help web-browsers to form an opinion on the best products. The product review website would earn a great amount from commission bonuses; people go to the site, read a positive review and then click the link on the site directly to a shop (such as eBay or Amazon) and then they purchase that item. The product review site will then earn a percentage of commission from this sale, and so this is how they can afford to pay its users for writing product reviews – everyone's happy.

There are not many requirements to use these product-reviewing websites; you need to be at least 13 years old and need to be based in one of the supported countries. Obviously it would help if you have a passion for writing, and that you are not too impatient. To earn good money you need to write quality product reviews, and you need to build up a reputation on the website. The more users you get to read and rate your reviews, the more money you will earn. Therefore it pays to be popular.

These product reviews websites already have some very well established communities on them, and this is done thanks to the points system. Every review you read and comment and every rating you receive will all earn you virtual community points. There is a color scale which matches the points earned, and the more points you have the more important the color is that you receive. For example, join the website and write a review and you will probably still be on a white color. Write hundreds of reviews and you will no-doubt become a golden color. Not only does this color represent an active and responsive user, but it will earn you a lot more money. People will be more likely to read and rate your reviews, then e-learning you more far money then usual.

When your earnings reach a certain rate you can cash them in; through Amazon vouchers or you can get paid by BACS (a direct payment into your personal bank account). This is all completely secure and secure, as the websites have implemented some very strict security measures. The websites are also listed as some of the most popular, and gain millions of visitors every month. These figures show no signs of failing or dying down, so I highly recommend that you jump on the band wagon. Start writing your own opinion on any of the thousands of products listed – from TV's to Shampoo to Internet Search Engines. Every individual is catered for, and even if it is not you can still submit another of your own products if they are not already listed. Join a product reviewing website today for free, and start getting paid to write product reviews – you can not go wrong.

Whip Yourself into Shape with Boxing Fitness

Everyone seems to be concerned with their health these days. And with good reason, since the advent of processed foods and the degree of pollution in our cities, people's health can really be in danger. To help combat these problems, health improvement facilities like gyms and spas have popped up on every street. But since traditional exercises are not really enjoyable many people prefer activities that allow them to have fun while keeping fit.

Hiking, ballroom dancing, rock climbing, and cycling are just a few examples of recreational activities that can also be enjoyable. Sports, weight training, and martial arts have also become popular ways of trimming down. One type of martial art type of exercise program which you might want to try is boxing fitness.

You might think of boxing as a violent sport. Professional boxing as seen in television is a dangerous sport reserved for athletes who train extensively to get in shape for their bouts. But unknown to most it can also be a satisfying and effective form of workout.

Boxing fitness involves hours of diligent training, cardio workout out and can even teach you additional self-defense. Boxing fitness improves your flexibility, agility, stamina and coordination. You do not need to have to go as far as fighting in the ring but a little sparring mixed in your routine can make for a fantastic workout.

Besides being a lot of fun boxing fitness also improves your self-defense skills. One look at professional boxers shows you that training allows you to withstand punishment and give back as much as well. Today's world can be quite dangerous and learning a practical martial art like boxing can really be useful. While you might not turn into the next Mike Tyson you can be good enough to keep your self safe on the street.

If you want to try it you can try local gyms to see if they have a boxing fitness program. If none are available you can hop online and do a search for "boxing fitness" to find a program and gym that are convenient for you. Put on those boxing gloves now and punch your way into an exciting way to be healthy.

Sterling Silver Jewelry Exposed

Sterling silver jewelry is enjoying an unprecedented popularity with today's fashion conscious public. You know how beautiful sterling silver jewelry is and how brilliantly it shines. Now here is the rest of the story.

Silver has been used since ancient times, but has not survived as well as ancient gold because it tarnished and decomposes. There have been times, however, when silver was "in"; we are going through such a vogue today.

Silver is the most common of the precious metals. Fine silver is pure silver, which is used for jewelry because it is too soft. Sterling silver is 925 parts silver to 75 of copper, the alloy most often used. Silver weighs about half as much as gold, has greater flexibility, but is not as malleable, it has always been less expensive as well. A comparable piece of gold jewelry may cost four or five times that of a piece of sterling silver jewelry.

The current fashion trend toward black clothing has made silver jewelry more popular than ever. Silver likes to be worn; it stays cleaner & shinier through movement and friction. So sterling silver is a perfect accessory for today's fast paced lifestyles. Much like gold, sterling silver needs to be cleaned.

Care and Cleaning of your Sterling Silver Jewelry

1.) For daily cleaning it is recommended to use a simple jewelry polishing cloth that is impregnated with special jewelry cleaner. These are widely available and are very easy to use. Store your cloth in a plastic zip-lock bag, and keeping your jewelry drawer or armoire. It is a good idea to have one cleaning cloth for gold and one for silver.

2.) For a slightly more "in-depth" cleaning you may want to use a liquid jewelry cleaner.

3.) For cleaning badly tarnished silver, here's a neat little trick

a.) Cover the inside bottom of a heat-proof glass dish on bowl with a piece of aluminum foil, shiny side up.

b.) Place the tarnished silver in the bottom of the dish, contacting the aluminum foil.

c.) Add 1 heaping tablespoon of baking soda, and then slowly pour boiling water to cover the piece. The tarnish will gradually collect on the aluminum foil.

d.) Remove your silver, rinse thoroughly, and polish.

Here are Some Tips for Greater Enjoyment of your Sterling Silver Jewelry

1.) Are your silver chains all tied-up in knots? If so, here's a nifty little trick for straightening them out. Dust your chain with a little talcum powder and then try to unknot it. If the knot is stubborn, place a small drop of baby oil on a sheet of wax paper. Lay the knot in the oil and work it out with two pins; then clean the chain as instructed below.

2.) Always apply make-up, perfumes, oils or colognes before you put on your jewelry.

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