Biometrics Can Fuck Off

I'm an ordinary person with nothing to hide, but I value my front door key. A simple piece of hardware that keeps criminals and law enforcement alike out of my home. Would I like my thumbprint to be my front door key? HELL NO!

The fact that my front door key is a discrete device, separate to me, not part of my physical person makes it more secure than biometrics. I can deliberately lose a device if I need to protect myself against home invasion or warrentless search. I can't lose my thumbprint. See mt point?

In fact, if crims want my thumbprint, they don't need me, just my thumb. [BLAM! I DED. SNIP WITH THE BOLTCUTTERS.] None of this is morbid fantasy. Corrupt law enforcement exist, fascistic regimes exist, ruthless criminals exist. They're not a huge risk for most of us, but they are a real risk.

I support passkey devices, the mythical java decoder ring. Technology has marched on since the early days of java, but the idea of an encrypted bluetooth dongle running software like BitWarden, that resets a highly cryptic access code, every time it logs you in appeals to me much more than using my thumb or my face. It's a key, to a lock. In fact, make this device a card that looks like a club membership, or a loyalty card, an apparently worthless trinket. Then I can keep it in my wallet, access my phone by opening my wallet. Access my computer the same way. Nobody gets into my gear by using my face or thumb.

What I imagine is this card comes in matched pairs. Set one up, it immediately sets up its "mate." Keep the mate at home, take the RFID device with you. This is old tech, but so are door keys. Hell, thumb prints are old tech, but you have to take your thumb with you everywhere you go. You can keep an RFID device at home, in a safe place, when you don't need it. I like to take a dedicated camera to an event, leave my phone at home. If I drop my phone in the mud at a festival, I have weeks of disruption, even using iCloud, getting all my systems back to where they were. A second hand digital camera, OTOH, Salvage the SD card, toss the damaged camera in the recycle bin.

The same applies to an RFID keycard. If I lose the original, it's mate can be requested to do a reset, with a replacement card present, to be set up as the backup. We need this as an industry standard, not thumbprints.

Reasons you should never assume you're OK with the law...

  1. You are a racial minority in a racist country,
  2. You are autistic and easily distressed in public (it me),
  3. You live under an oppressive culture or regime
  4. Cops are human, and subject to all the usual human failings, like racism, corruption, etc
  5. Ask a descendent of a Holocaust survivor, a country can be safe one day, and not the next
  6. Aggregiously oppressive employment contracts. My employer, at the dawn of the digital age, required me to sign an employment agreement that assigned the rights of any work I produced, even in my own time, and that required me to give my supervisers access to my email and other social media. I signed the agreement "Donald Duck" and nobody questioned it. I scrawled, but it clearly never said my real name. In the case of biometrics, you can be manhandled if you end up in dispute with such an employer. Nearly every employer on earth is like this, many are much worse. Having a bogus keycard to hand over, one that works when you give it to them, then its pair gets reset, is security against this kind of industrial oppression.


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