Fingerprinting the fingerprint proponent
(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)
EDRi-member Chaos Computer Club (CCC) – Germany has published in the latest
issue of their magazine Die Datenschleuder the fingerprint of one of the
best known proponents of digital fingerprints in passports – Mr. Wolfgang
Schäuble, the German Minister of Internal Affairs. The fingerprint has been
printed on a plastic foil, that can replicate the fingerprint when it is
pressed on a biometric reader.
CCC activists wanted to make a point in their fight against digital
fingerprints in any ID document, considering such data is easy to collect
and reproduce. Despite the numerous warnings, since November 2007 the German
passports have included a biometric chip containing fingerprints that can be
checked by the customs authorities.
CCC spokesman Frank Rieger explained: “The main point we want to illustrate
here is that biometric fingerprints don’t offer any security, they just
enhance the surveillance of citizens.”
Since 2004, CCC has published a step-by-step guide on how to copy someones’
fingerprint and how to make fake fingerprints.
Mr. Schäuble’s fingerprint was provided by a fan of the club from
a glass the Minsiter had been drinking from at a public event. The print of
the right hand fingerprint is now included in the 4 000 copies of the
magazine and is also available on the CCC webpage.
CCC says they are just following Mr. Schäuble’s words when he said that
there is hardly any difference between a passport photo and a digital
fingerprint. When he launched the new passports with biometric features, he
explained: “This technology will help us keep one step ahead of criminals.
With the new passport, it is possible to conduct biometric checks, which
will also prevent authentic passports from being misused by unauthorized
persons who happen to look like the person in the passport photo.”
Other politicians, supporters of the digital fingerprinting advantages, are
also on the list of targets for the CCC fans, including Chancellor Angela
Merkel, Bavarian Prime Minister Guenther Beckstein and BKA President Joerg
Chaos Computer Club: Concrete debate on biometrics – Schäuble’s fingerprint
(only in German, 28.03.2008)
Mr. Wolfgang Schäuble fingerprint
Get your German interior minister’s fingerprint here (30.03.2008)
CCC publishes fingerprints of Wolfgang Schäuble, the German Home Secretary
German hackers threaten to publish Merkel’s fingerprints (31.03.2008)
How to fake fingerprints (26.10.2004)