scribbles tagged ‘fingerprints’

biometrics

Saturday, May 9th, 2009 | tags: , , ,  |

BiometricsToday I have been using a very shiny laptop that hosts a fingerprint reader thingy for a secure logon.   This will be very secure

if

the US government doesn’t use one of their many, many copies of my fingerprints  to break into the laptop,

or

no-one lifts one of my fingerprints from the shiny laptop lid

biometrics
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no expectation of privacy

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009 | tags: , , , , ,  |

Expectation of privacyYou can use this US government website https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov computer system for FREE!

To submit a request to travel to the US , an ESTA. Lovely. Then you’ll be photographed and fingerprinted on arrival and they might let you in. Lovely.

HahahahHAhaHAHAHahahahaha (the sound of manic laughing fading into the distance)

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Parcel pick-up

Saturday, February 16th, 2008 | tags: ,  |

At Reading central post office parcel pick-up office the staff have improvised a helpful variety of signs to ensure parcel picker-uppers understand what is expected of them.   I skim-read all of the signs looking for the words ‘camera’ and ‘photograph’.   None of them said ‘no photography’.   Phew.   After rummaging for a good five minutes in all my pockets just because that is the sort of thing I like to do in public places,    I took this photograph.

The young lad you can see in the royal-mail red uniform t-shirt stopped looking at his computer and came up to the counter when he saw me pull the camera out.   In all the excitement I had not actually looked at what the signs did tell me.    He asked me for my identification.    I did not have my identification ready,   with perhaps the exception of my fingerprints which are always available.   He sighed heavily as I searched through my pockets to pull out my shiny new pink, yes PINK, UK drivers license.    These are the signs that I later read:

  • do not use your mobile phone while waiting to be served.   Thankyou.
  • please have your identificiation ready.
  • do not use your mobile phone while waiting to be served. Thankyou.
  • please have your identification ready.
  • no smoking.
  • please have your identification ready.

Three signs with the same message,   the message that I didn’t read.   I guess a lot of people don’t read this message and the staff possibly hope that putting up another sign will solve the problem of everyone waiting while the person at the front of the line searches for their ID.   Like I did.  

Incase there is any confusion amongst my regular and irregualr readers I’d like to clarify that apart from picking-up the occassional parcel I’m still single.

Parcel pick-up
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fingerprints not available?

Saturday, July 14th, 2007 | tags: ,  |

Fingerprint not available says the text on my employment authorisation card.  

I wonder why the department of homeland security is  keeping my regularly supplied  fingerprints secret from their card-printing department.    

Situational irony.  

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another reprint

Friday, May 11th, 2007 | tags:  |

line #1:    security scan at building entrance.

An Hispanic looking uniformed lady checks my appointment notice and ID then instructs “stand behind the line” until the tall Aryan looking blond man calls me through the scanner.  He is using a baseball-bat shaped black stick to    ceremoniously wipe the whole body of an African looking lady.   The left side of her face looks crushed,   her  left eye is low and mishapen, her cheekbone none-existent.   Manual misshaping.   She is standing with her arms out, crucifix style, turning on request,   she smiles at me.   I return her  smile.   We are packages in this process to the processors,   as women we share an understanding of what it is to be a woman, a package.     The Aryan male calls me though.   I   raise my arms crucifix style.   He laughs and points me to the next line.

line #2: sorting line

There are 5 lines ahead.   Each line has a low-hung, easily obscured by people standing,  paper label describing its processing function.   I find the words “finger printing” in one and line-up.   All  5 lines go through a single processing point,   a chubby man, possibly Pacific Islander.   He doesn’t smile,   the edges of his mouth turn down. He  looks sad.   He calls for people to approach him “line 2” or “line 4“.    People are accidentally in the wrong lines.   He sighs, he sends them to the back of the right line.   When it’s my turn he checks my ID and my appointment notice,   gives me a  paper form to complete and a number “H14”.    

Line #3: Counter 11

Instrumental music is piped into  a  large hall with central rows of seating surrounded by  11 counters.   People don’t talk.   Two overhead TV’s  tuned to CNN.  Sound turned down, no subtitles.   Two large flat screen displays announce which counter is taking which number.   I complete my poorly designed form.   A canned voice announces “counter 11 is now serving H1”  The flat-screen updates.   The flat screen updates faster than the audio.   As the Audio announces “Counter 11 is now serving H4” the flat screen is announcing that counter 11 is serving H11.   At counter 11 sits a chubby lady with Pacific Islander characteristics  whose mouth  turns down so much at the edges that she looks sour before she’s even said anything.   I hand her my ID, appointment form and recently completed form   haveyoueverbeenmarried  I paused to parse the very fast monotonically delivered sentence No

SourLady asks more questions,   all these questions were on the form I had given her,   verifying incase I didn’t complete the form properly,   highly likely given its poor design.   When finished she points to a line of people that she’s already processed  & provides a large square of paper on which is written #12

Line #4: finger-print machines in sight

CNN TV’s are out of sight,   canned music isn’t piped into the finger printing room.   The chairs for the line-up  are packed close together,   closer together than the average width of a person.   Bodies touch,   most unusual in the USA.    Sourlady process the people behind me with exactly the same questions,   in the same fast monotone   difficultforanEnglishspeakertoparse way.  

The process has dehumanised her and is dehumanising the Aliens she processes.   No room for smiles.   A cell phone rings and all the staff simultaneously turn round,   glare at the lady who’s phone rang while pointing at the wall sign that says ‘turn of your cell-phone”.     The movement was so simultaneous it looked choreographed,   like a  Dennis Potter scene.   The glare felt vicious.   Silence maintained.   The silence feels oppressive and reverential like that of a church in prayer.     A child cries,   I start pulling faces at the child,   who pauses for a moment then carries on with renewed vigour.

I start to read “Making the Cat Laugh”,   Lynne is in a British registry office registering the Death of her father.   The atmosphere she describes is powerfully similar to  my current environment,   except its  English.   She draws analogies to Alan Bennett plays highlighting that the dramatic irony of real life so often reflects and extends that portrayed by artists.

Finger printing #12

A lady in 4″ healed mules,   tight white mini-skirt that shows the outline of her panties,   pink denim jacket with intentionally frayed cuffs,   red tight fitting plunge-neckline t-shirt with red glass beads bouncing between her breasts,     beckons me towards her.   Her long hair in tight curl’s with a ‘wet’ look and bright red lipstick on pale white skin made me wonder why?   what on earth made her choose all these strange ways to adorn herself?    “Were you born in England?”    Yes “are you a citizen of England?”    I’m a citizen of the United Kingdom of Great Brit  “Yeah,   England”   Now if I’d been Scottish,  Welsh or from Northern Ireland  that would have really been inaccurate and insulting.  

RedLady asks some more questions that verify answers I  gave on the badly designed form  while chewing her gum,  taking my photograph then pressing my fingers onto the print-capture screen.    You can go now.   Relieved to be released.

Now immigration services can be confident that my fingers are still on the same body as the face  verifying my identity in  my passport photograph.  

another reprint
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exit procedures for foreign visitors

Thursday, March 8th, 2007 | tags:  |

Visitors to the USA, like myself, cannot leave until they have given their fingerprints and proven this with a finger-print receipt.   At Seatac airport S terminal they have 4 automated finger-print capturing machines.   Today they also had four attendents to help me incase I had trouble following the instructions.

   

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Finger print process improvements

Wednesday, February 15th, 2006 | tags: , ,  |

The Tukwilla department of homeland security finger-printing process has improved since January 05:

  • a flat rate fee for parking.    You no longer have to pay more when they make you wait longer.   You have to  pay on entry.   They are more certain of getting money for their service.

Wendy:   Like your flat rate fees!

Black US car park attendant:  Lovely Jubberly!

Wendy:   (Laughter,   strange to hear a London phrase made popular in the UK cult classic comedy ‘only fools and horses’ from a US blue-collar worker)

  • Ticket numbers and seating instead of stand-up line for 4 hours.   Albeit three tickets and three lines,   one after the other,  for unclear reasons.
  • Only 3 hours, not 4,  from entering the building to leaving with about 15 minutes actually being finger-printed.
  • usability software updates to the fingerprint capture software.   Now the operator can
    • capture the fingerprints with a ‘foot-pedal’,   this enables them to use both hands to make sure your finger is in the right place.
    • get immediate feedback on whether the captured finger-print passes the quality bar.

W proved-finger-prints-are-the-same-as-last-2-visits

Finger print process improvements
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Reprints

Tuesday, January 24th, 2006 | tags: , ,  |
I’m an Alien.
 
The Department of Homeland Security in Tukwilla wants to take my   fingerprints in  February for  the 3rd time.    
Do they think I change my fingerprints?  
Do they loose my fingerprints?   Should I get a receipt?  
 
 
From my Jan 2005 visit:Mrs.   House what was your name before you got married?”

ME:   “I’ve never married,   House has always been my name”

DHS: “oh,   I’m sorry”

ME:   “that’s ok,   I’m not”

 Wendy

Reprints
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