Feeds

back to article Home Secretary bigs up fingerprint-activated iPods

Home Secretary John Reid is asking Apple and Sony, and other manufacturers, to join his crime fighting summit. The summit will look at what manufacturers can do to add "anti-crime" features to their products. A Blair policy review, released last month, raised the red herring very clever plan of fingerprint-activated MP3 …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Yet again, our visionless government puts big brother over parenting

Although we live in a secular society, it is not only sad, but incredibly frightening to be living through a period when on an almost daily basis, the thoughtless UK government attempt to use big brother technology, fines and other cold and impersonal concepts as an alternative to encouraging good parenting and a strong diciplined family unit. Will well bought up children rob people of their gadgets? No. Will they mug old ladies? No. Why? Because there is nothing like the fear of (respected) authourity to deter bad behavior. However, as is the case with mobile phones, no matter how much advanced technology you introduce to deter crime, people will always look upon that as a challenge, monotise it (like those phone unlocking street stalls in Oxford Street) and nothing will change. The sooner this country wakes up and smells the coffee, the better. And yes, you can quote me on it, we're heading towards a grey, PC distopia far worse than anything Owell imagined. Why? Because there will be no Superman to save the day.

0
0

I know how to stop it ...

When you have your white headphones in - ensure you have been down the gym whilst on a large amount of performance enhancing drugs, also ensure your carrying a fully loaded mach 10, tazer, pepper spray and attach a grenade pin to a rip cord on your ipod.....

Avoid anyone in a hoodie... infact ... avoid other people, even your mum <just to be sure> - stay indoors, hide under your bed clutching holy relics of some sort, rock back and forth unable to enjoy your device, but at least its safe....

Or just keep it in your pocket and dont let the crackheads know you have it in the 1st place....

0
0

Glad to see

Glad to see Mr Reid isn't considering anything bonkers like increasing policing levels at street level, or look into the causes of crime like this - such as drug related theft or the huge disparity between the well off and the poor - or even consider how the "it's been stolen" upgrade/insurance scam screws the data.

No, no, it's got to be the fingerprinting route. Which you may, for your own security reasons - obviously, rather than some other masterplan - want to give to the Government to store on a database so that they can give you back any equipment you may have had stolen by a hoodie.

0
0

fingerprint != security

The television show Mythbusters pretty clearly showed that fingerprints are in no way any form of security. They used multiple methods to defeat multiple fingerprint sensors (including ones that supposedly check for heat/pulse). And with any handheld device, there's a very strong chance that your fingerprints are all over the device, so they could clearly be lifted and used to create the replica.

On top of this, the end result is obvious, as has already been shown. If someone really wants your product (whether it's an electronic device or a car), and they really don't want to have to hassle with creating replica fingerprints, they'll just cut off your finger. Me, I'd rather lose my MP3 player than my finger.

0
0
Ben
Bronze badge

so once you have bought this device...

It is linked to you and can never EVER be reset? Like that kid in AI? That'll work.

Jeez, just like every other governmental policy, this is not thought out at all. Just use a padlock and a lock wire to attach it to your wrist. They may cut your wrist off too, but then they would have to clean the ipod.

0
0

finger print then what

so you buy your ipod you put your finger print into it then you connect to your computer unknown to you your fingerprint is then sent to a government site stored on a data base then acessed by anyone with a internet connection. Brillant oh and yes MI5 call to arrest you for the MP3 you downloaded from a peer to peer site six years ago and you get questioned about an email you sent to your girlfriend who was touring the world and was in Iran at the time. I could go on but theres a knock at the door.

0
0

Good idea!

Anybody who owns an i-pod, listening to compressed to f**k music with clinky cheap earphones (that look like 1970's deaf aids), bumping into people/walking into running cars, whilst thinking they look "cool", and carrying their mobile (which probably has a perfectly good MP3 player built in) deserves to be arrested and whipped.

So taking their fingerprints in advance is a good idea in my view. Now that we can't deport terrorists it's time to look at the next easy target!

0
0
Silver badge

Oooh they're going to be impressed

Oooh I'd pay good money to get a transcript of a meeting between (Dr.) John Reid (Minister for the Interior and the Today Programme) and quite possibly the only man so equally bloody minded and offensive - Steve Jobs.

Assuming it gets past Jobs saying 'f--- you,' to the People's Commissar, Apple and Sony will simply tell the former Marxist that they don't make their devices in the UK, that the UK only represents a tiny fraction of their market and therefore they see no reason to increase their own costs to suit Dr. Demento's personal oppression agenda.

0
0

I know how we can fix this.

<swift>

Why don't we just make it against the law for any minority to use an expensive cell phone or handheld device. They can keep using the original sony walkman, and the original nokia phone.

</swift>

0
0
Bronze badge

Fingerprint-protected USB is worthless

The Dutch site tweakers.net recently let a hacker look into several models of fingerprint-protected USB memory sticks. None held up very well, and some collapsed before serious testing.

It took some clever tricks to get there, but once understood they're mostly blood simple. So with the protected ipod you will not fare better, as these can be copied anywhere.

Interestingly, in the best protected sticks the vulnerability is the fingerprint: since two fingerprint readings will never be 100% the same, it cannot serve as a real password to the encryption of the data. Thus the `reader' must necessarily give a green light signal to the decrypter, and this signal can be faked or circumvented.

0
0

Amazing

It really is amazing how an article that has little to do with an iPod save for mentioning it once, is somehow an open invitation for every Apple hating individual to come on here and post.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Oh dear ...

I think Wonderkid misses the mark a bit with his statement "Because there is nothing like the fear of (respected) authourity to deter bad behavior."

I would say that the first and most effective method for deterring bad behaviour is to instill a sense of what is right and wrong AND a respect for others and their property. Fear of retribution comes a distant second, although it IS an important factor.

I don't steal because I was brought up to respect other people and their property - quite frankly, the number of occasions when there is means, opportunity, and precious little chance of detection are many but we don't because it would offend our personal code of ethics. I think that applies to the majority of 'my generation'.

The problem is that unless you can instill a sense of right and wrong in the majority, AND a respect for others and their property, then the only thing you have left is more and more scrutiny to support the detect and punish mode of control. And of course, as we are already finding out - every more scrutiny fuels the breakdown of trust between 'them' and 'us' and makes the situation worse.

Just take speed limits for example. Until 10 years ago I think you'll find that most drivers respected speed limits as they mostly showed some correlation with conditions and could be seen to have been considered by people whose main consideration was road safety. Now there are few drivers with any respect since so many speed limits have clearly been imposed for purely political or financial reasons. Result ? The only way to force even token compliance with the disrespected limits is by ever more automated enforcement that further discredits the limits as in any way related to safety. I can only hope that some day we'll get a government that will reallise this and attempt to repair the damage - but I'm not holding my breath.

Until only a few years ago, I would have had no problem cooperating with Police and other officials. Now, thanks to some really, REALLY stupid things being handed down from Westminster I now spend time thinking up ways to work around stupid laws and do my best to obstruct stupid schemes. At a local level, I think I may even have found a way to bankrupt our local (unelected and stupid) National Park Authority, and then report the management committee members for malfeasance in public office. At a more national level, it will be interesting to see how long it takes 'them' to get any sensible biometrics from me to go in the ID database - I'll certainly be very uncooperative when that time comes !

0
0
ken

Technology Already Exists - GadgetTrak

The technology to recover stolen gadgets already exists - GadgetTrak (http://www.gadgettrak.com). Subscribers register their device and download a small bit of software onto their iPod or other gadget. When the USB partition is accessed it triggers the agent to talk with a central server. If the device has been reported stolen it sends data back to the server including username, computername,internal network addres, IP address along with geographic location.

0
0

iPods and Expensive Mobile Phones

"iPods and expensive mobile phones are blamed for fuelling this growth"

F*** me, and there I was blameing the pikeys... but no, it's not their laziness and greed that's driving the crime figures, it's Nokia's selfishly pushing bigger and better phones without bothering with more security features... And of course the consumer's own hubris for having the spiteful nerve to spend his hard earned on something rather than give it all to dear old uncle Gord, to be given to the pikeys.

Seriously it's not as if existing anti theft measures are used. IMEI's _could_ be used to track stolen phones and nail the fences but... no... that would mean the police having to get up from their mountain of paperwork... oh and it would breach the human rights of the thieves in some ineffable way.

Not that the police seem that bothered anyway. A mate of mine bought a mobile via ebay and found it had been blocked, when he reported the seller to the police for selling stolen goods, he himself was ticked off by the civie on front desk and sent on his way. I once went to a station with a complaint and full evidence of a market trader selling stolen hard discs... again couldn't get past the civie on the front desk, who concluded that because it was a computer part I must have bought it via ebay or somesuch vague reason for it not being a police matter.

Okay so we've heard Reid's hobby horse orwellian advice for the manufacturers... can we have the advice for the youth that he was f***ing asked for now? I dunno something nice and uncontroversial , keep it out of sight, avoid rough areas, that sort of thing.

0
0

Introducing fingerprint identification

For iPods, mobile phones, PDA's etc, means that the sales of secateurs will sky rocket.

0
0

See..

That's what you get when you have a long series of Grumpy old men as home secretary. Reid has proven once again how clueless he is about modern life. You'd think somebody who was in charge of formulating what are primarily social policies would be expected to be a bit more switched on about the issues he's meant to be dealing with. It worries me that he clearly doesn't have a single advisor capable of briefing him about the realo upsides and downsides of technological issues.

0
0

Anyone want to buy a finger?

Didn't some Indian gentleman with a fingerprint security sytem in his car simply have the digit removed along with the vehicle? Apropos fingerprints, our new company laptops come with a fingerprint scanner. I have told people in no uncertain terms not to fuck with it as they are stupid (the scanners AND the scannees). I may put tape over them...

0
0

How is this big brother?

It's no different to cars having number plates to put people of stealing them, or their fuel tanks being made so its very difficult to suck out the fuel and steel it. Why should gadgets be any different?

0
0
This topic is closed for new posts.