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Personal Identification - Its Modern Development and the Security Implications: How we progressed from no ID only a century ago to "Trusted" and "Secure" Personal ID today

Personal Identification - Its Modern Development and the Security Implications: How we progressed from no ID only a century ago to "Trusted" and "Secure" Personal ID today

Thursday, April 19, 2007

The New York Academy of Sciences

Presented By

Presented by the Lyceum Society


Speaker: David J. Haas, PhD

This is a mid-day "Bring your own lunch" Brown Bag seminar.

Who am I? Can I prove it? Why would you trust my proof? We have all grown up using our driver's license for confirming who we are. We also carry many other ID and credit/debit cards, which make everyday life easier. This was not, however, always so, and ID is still evolving.

The use of identifying documents, the very need for "trusted" personal identification documents by the public, is relatively new. The first ones were created in 1914, the primary one being the Passport. Most current cards and documents that we assume are "trusted" are, in truth, "questionable." They are of little value for "trusted" identity purposes.

Since 2001, you cannot board a commercial airline in the United States without showing a "government-issued document with a photograph." Government issued? Photograph? Why not any other card? How many government issued documents with photographs does the public carry? Your driver's license is probably the only "trusted" ID in your wallet, yet it became "trusted and secure" only recently but is no longer the gold standard of identification. Lastly, we will review the consequences of 9/11 on personal identification in the USA, modern ID, biometrics, and the impact on our society and civil liberties.

David Haas's first talk to us last October introduced us to the fascinating history and technology of security screening. We were hearing from the founder and president of Tecco, the company at the forefront of the industry. For example, when you Google Tecco, you will find that the company has recently introduced, among other clever gadgets, "a twist-snap that can be attached to a zipper or bag closure to prevent pickpocketing." He holds more than 65 patents, two from last year. His Ph.D. is in biophysics from SUNY Buffalo, NY School of Medicine.