Technology: Putting The Finger on Security

Biometrics could make keys and combination locks obsolete

In the new, updated version of the TV show Mission: Impossible, special agent Jim Phelps no longer gets his top-secret instructions by merely opening an envelope and listening to a tape recorder. These days Phelps puts his right thumb on the special pad of a black box that, after reading his thumbprint, promptly pops open and gives a laser-disc video presentation of his next assignment. No one but Phelps can open the box because no one else has his thumbprint.

Think this is only the stuff of fictional covert operatives? Think again, and welcome to the new world of biometric security....

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