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.

Family Vacation Ideas – Family Fun at the Grand Canyon

Are you looking for some family vacation ideas? Consider a trip to the Grand Canyon for your next family vacation. There are no words that fully describe it and pictures can not capture the incredible beauty of this 277-mile long, one-mile deep wonder. The Grand Canyon is located approximately two and a half hours north of Phoenix, in Northern Arizona. July is the warmest month for the Grand Canyon, but because of the higher elevation, the average highs are only 84 degrees, while the lows dip down to around 50. Compare this to Phoenix where the average high this time of year is 104 degrees.

There is lodging at the Grand Canyon, but space is limited and generally more expensive than nearby hotels. Williams, Arizona is about 30 miles south of the Grand Canyon, and is a great little town to stay in while exploring the area. It offers a wide range of accommodations and restaurants, beautiful Ponderosa pine trees, clear, crisp air, and a variety of outdoor activities.

The Grand Canyon Railway leaves from Williams and offers several classes of vintage train service to the Grand Canyon. This is a great way to get from Williams to the Grand Canyon, and journeying to the canyon by rail offers a fun and unique travel experience for your family. Along the way, enjoy 65 miles of Grand Canyon Country views and Old West entertainment.

The most popular tour of the Grand Canyon is by car and bus around the South Rim. It is open year-round and features easily accessible trails and outlooks. It also has shops, hotels, and several restaurants. In addition to viewing the stunning scenery, visitors can hike, camp, take mule rides, or go on a rafting trip. For those hiking to the canyon floor, be aware that temperatures in July and August can be substantially higher than those at the rim.

Whether you visit the South Rim, West Rim, North Rim, or some other part of the canyon, it will certainly be a memorable trip for your entire family. Even if you have seen hundreds of photos in the past, there is no way to really appreciate the beauty of this area until you actually visit it. The Grand Canyon is truly magnificent. Have a safe and wonderful trip!

What Are the Options of Internet Marketing Success?

If you are just starting in the world of internet marketing there are lots of options for you to choose from to be able to achieve the internet marketing success that you may have dreamed of. You may even have noticed that every site that you may have clicked on offers the best and latest deal just for you to make it online. However, such act may just cause you to feel like you're sinking in a flood of data.

Although there may be times that you'll be able to encounter certain complications in your venture to achieve your internet marketing success, internet marketing is not really that complicated once you get the hang out of it. There are just 3 simple things that you have to consider, things such as:

Traffic, this is one of the big three's that you have to think about for you to be able to make it through. If you want to generate sales on your site then you need the essential source of it and that is your clients. Traffic is the number among the three vital aspects that you need to focus into.

Then there is conversion, now that you have generated certain traffic. This should be the next step that is essential, converting your site's views into sales. To be able to achieve this you must have an informative site as well that offers an enticing promotion to your prospects. Be aware however that on the net it is an accepted fact that the conversion rate in percentage to your traffic is low. Therefore when monitoring your traffic stats do not be discouraged when you're not getting your expected high conversion rates. It basically takes time.

The last and the most important factor to achieve internet marketing success is MONEY. This is the very end result that every business minded person wish to achieve in every endeavor that he gets into. Once your traffic is converted into a sale it will be creating the end result that you've been learning- making money online.

Does Your Website Follow “The Iron Law of Marketing?”

Many websites unwittingly ignore ‘The Iron Law’ of Marketing. They begin by explaining features about the company, e.g. how long they’ve been in business, what their premises look like, etc. The truth is that most visitors to your website couldn’t give a hoot about the features of your company! What they primarily care about is WIIFM.

WIIFM stands for ‘What’s In It For Me’. It’s ‘The Iron Law of Marketing’. Unless visitors to your website can quickly see what your business can do for them, the chances are that they’ll be gone quickly, typically in seconds. Once they’re gone, they’re gone – probably never to return.

WIIFM – ‘What’s in it for me’. Are we really so self-centred? Well, yes, I’m afraid that we are. Please don’t feel guilty – it’s just the way we’re hard-wired. Sure, farther down the line, we care about others. But, first and foremost, we’re concerned about how we survive and thrive. That’s simple evolutionary common sense.

If you want your visitor to stay on your website, you need to heed ‘The Iron Law of Marketing’. You need to give your visitors WIIFM – ‘What’s in it for me’. But the paradox is this: the ‘me’ shouldn’t be you (i.e. your premises, etc). It should be them – your visitors.

You need to put yourself in your visitors’ shoes and address what they’re interested in, what they might want, how you may be able to help them.

Most companies are concerned to get ‘targeted traffic’ (i.e. potential clients to their sites) through SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and other clever stuff. And this is important – very important indeed.

But if most of your prospective clients leave your website in a few seconds, isn’t that just a little bit silly? (And we’ve all done it, me too!) Isn’t that rather like filling a bucket with water… which just runs out of all the holes in the bottom?

It’s not rocket science! We simply need to show visitors to our websites the benefits of doing business with us. And we need to do it in a fun, interesting manner.

If possible, we should pack our websites with ‘FREE gifts’, so that visitors derive immediate benefit. One of the most valued gifts is FREE information which you give to your visitors and which will help them.

I’m amazed when I see websites created and run by people ten times more clever than me… yet doomed to failure because they broke ‘The Iron Law of Marketing’ – WIIFM, ‘What’s In It For Me’.

Often it just needs a change in focus and some alterations for your website to be much more successful. If you disregard WIIFM, it will become your worst enemy. If you take heed, it will become your best friend.