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.

Traveling in the United States

You have lived in one state, one city all your life and now you want to see more of the United States. To begin a traveling adventure in the United States requires some research. You will need to go online or pay a visit to your local library to get books on traveling within the U.S… You will need to narrow your search down a little bit however because you will never be able to read all the books that are on traveling within the U.S…

Budget could be a deciding factor as to what type of books you will want to get. You may want to check out budget friendly books for family travel. In these types of books you will find the best travel location for a family on a budget. The best places to visit for children and adults. These types of books on traveling within the U.S. will show your places that include package deals. Deals that have entrance fees, hotels and meals all included in one bargain price. If you are traveling within the U.S. with a significant other you may want to check out books with other options.

Traveling within the U.S. with your significant other may make you check out books on bed and breakfasts. This way you can be romantic, relax and see some of the quiet country sides of the United States. These trips can be focused on your likes such as history, skiing, beaches or just romance. If you are traveling alone you might be looking for something totally different.

If you are traveling by yourself within the U.S. you might want to check out books that talk about interesting restaurants, beaches or places to meet other people. You may want to check out books that talk about traveling within the U.S. to secluded places where you can just disappear from the rest of the world for a few days.

No matter what you’re reasoning for traveling within the U.S. the internet is the first place you want to go to do research on your destination or to narrow down where your destination might be. You can also go to your local bookstore and if they don’t have what you are looking for they will be willing to order it in. If you are not sure at all where you want to go head to a local travel agent, they will be able to help you narrow down your choices. They will also lead you to some good books about traveling within the U.S. Good luck on your journey and have fun.

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!

Hotels in Puri With Swimming Pool

Located on the eastern shores of India is the holy city of Puri – one of the sacred Char Dhams. Puri also has a beautiful beach and many good hotels that offer all the necessary amenities such as swimming pools. Read on to know more about this beach city and also check out some good Puri hotels with nice pools.

The town of Puri is located on the shores of Odisha overlooking the Bay of Bengal. It is located around 60kms south of the capital city Bhubaneswar and is well connected by roads and railways. The nearest airport is the Biju Pattnaik Airport that is in Bhubaneswar around 65kms away. Puri is a bustling pilgrimage town and is famous for its 11th century shrine dedicated to Lord Jagannath- a form of Lord Vishnu. The temple complex covers an area 10 acres and houses three main temple structures associated with the Lord and his siblings. The complex also houses numerous other small temples dedicated to various deities and each temple is said to have a myth behind it. The temple visit should take a day and you should also try out the delicious Prasad that is a full blown meal by itself. After visiting the temple, head straight towards the sea beach. One of the most beautiful beaches on the eastern coasts, the Puri beach is an ideal place to relax or frolic in the waters. The waves are not very high and the beach is considered to be safest for swimming. The beaches are also ideal for taking a long relaxing walk among the soft sands in peace. It is advisable to take a bath with fresh water after a dip in the sea as the salty water could play havoc with your skin and hair. There is a paid bathing service near the beach but if your hotel has its own swimming pool then it could prove to be a blessing. Many luxury hotels in Puri with swimming pool also have their own private beach and you can take a dip in the sea and relax in the swimming pool afterwards. These hotels also offer pool facilities such as bar / eateries, Jacuzzi, steam baths, etc. making the pool side an absolutely relaxing experience. Check out below some of the good hotels in Puri with swimming pool and other added features.

Hotels in Puri with swimming pool

Hotel Holiday Resort is one of the finest 4 star Puri hotels that is located close to the sea beach on the Chakratirtha Road. It enjoys a customer recommendation of approximately 86% which means 9 out of 10 people would select this particular hotel. Previous guests have praised its location, facilities and its standard of services. The hotel offers a nice swimming pool along with sauna, Jacuzzi and steam bath. The rooms cost Rs.2000.

The Chariot Hotel is a 3 star hotel in Puri that is located near the sea beach. It enjoys wide recommendation among travelers and is known for its numerous facilities and its tranquil surroundings. The hotel has its own private beach and offers a swimming pool and an aqua park along with spa, Children Park, a multi-cuisine restaurant and an open air cafe. The room rates start from Rs.4000.