Re: Fwd: Re: "dumb scanners"

From: Ronald Crane <voting_at_lastland_dot_net>
Date: Thu Dec 07 2006 - 18:48:57 CST

On Thu, 07 Dec 2006 14:33:14 -0600, Jerry Lobdill wrote
> >But there needs to be only one "dumb scanner" (under officials' control) to
> >avoid invading privacy by scanning voters' fingerprints, ballot serial
> >numbers, etc. The "dumb scanner" can mis-scan in the same way as existing
> >all-in-one scanners, so we still need sampling hand audits. I'm not sure that
> >this approach solves much, but at least it appears to preserve privacy.
> >
> >-R
>
> How would the scanner pick up invisible fingerprints?

It doesn't strike me as at all unlikely that ordinary fingerprints produce
subtle gradations of reflectance and absorption that can be read by
signal-processing software working from a sufficiently high-resolution image.
That many people probably are anxious when voting (and thus probably have
sweatier-than-average hands) makes this more likely. Also, scanning
technologies will only become more capable as technology advances, so even if
none of today's scanners can pick up enough information to allow software to
reconstitute fingerprints, we want to be aware of the possibility, and to
avoid building systems that are vulnerable to it.

We also want to, for example, be aware of things like this: In 2004 Toshiba
demoed an LCD screen that also simultaneously captures color images. Toshiba
says that this technology could be used to, among other things, “recognize and
authenticate fingerprints.”
http://www.toshiba.com/taec/news/press_releases/2004/lcdb_04_218.jsp. This
technology doubtless eventually will become standard in the industry, since it
enables a new level of interactivity. For example, a user might scan a photo
directly into her blog just by placing it on a blank area on her screen. Over
time, this technology probably will displace ordinary touchscreen displays.
Note also that Toshiba isn’t the only manufacturer working on this. Phillips
patented something similar here: http://www.freepatentsonline.com/6327376.html

-R

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Received on Sun Dec 31 23:17:09 2006

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