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Terrorists will drive us towards digital identities

As I travel the world, one thing unfolds,

The passport queue.

Passport q

Surely, there is a better way to check it’s you.

As here we stand, book in hand, waiting for the eye of the security guy.

To check my face matches my race, and stamp that I may camp in their place.

So I give them a smile, and off we go, with a hey and a ho.

And I feel my fast pulse, as my passport is false.

It is no issue, for my bodily tissue is not the real deal.

And so I spied on them and on you for that's what terrorists do.

… or something like that.

I mean what sort of last century security system does the world manage when our identities are checked by some sleepy security guy who stamps a paper-based passbook? No wonder that mothers can travel as their daughters or that a bald man can pass for his blonde-haired girlfriend.

And yet this is what we use for KYC?

Surely, we need to have a digital check?

We need digital border controls that can check a digital implant via an automated screening.

Passport iris

That would get rid of the queues and make travel more secure.

The terrorists and criminals might steal my chip implant, but the implant only works if it matches my heartbeat.

That's the near-term future.

A chip implant that will only function with a unique biometric, such as the heartbeat, so that we can be tracked and traced electronically.

You don't want the chip implant?

Take the app and strap version.

Either way, we will move to digital identities that, at their core, use a digital biometric as their raison d'etre.

Otherwise, we will all remain stuck in the last century of passbooks and stamps.

About Chris M Skinner

Chris M Skinner

Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog, the Finanser.com, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal’s Financial News. To learn more click here…

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  • ABSOLUTELY!!!
    I can’t agree more. The biometrics stuff is an improvement, but we need to go further. In Hong Kong, UK and Australia where I use biometrics entry my average wait time is 3-6 minutes. In the United States my average wait time is 1-1.5 hours in customs.
    Basically there is MASSIVE inefficiency in the system today, and inefficiency also means the likelihood of abuse is significantly higher.
    Good read once again Mr Skinner

  • GMStein

    Pity us foreigners living (completely legally in the UK. UK citizens can sign up for the Registered Traveller programme, and effectively jump the queue, but us permanent residents with ILR may not. Why the restriction? And this comes after the UK axed Iris, a bio-metric system that actually worked, and really well at that.
    The UK government knows everything about me, from the ILR application process (not to mention past visas and all the other electronic data they have). Yet every time I enter the UK (not a Schengen country, of course) I still have to fill in, by hand, all the information already in my passport and in my ILR card, on a bit of cheap cardboard. Is this a make-work programme for bureaucrats?
    Not that the process is any good in the US. Must be an Anglo-Saxon thing. The Europeans are better.