New 'fingerprint' method to combat certain fraud

  GaT7 19:15 09 Aug 2005

Just read this & thought some of you may be interested. G

click here

Some extracts:

A unique 'fingerprint' formed by microscopic surface imperfections on almost all paper documents, plastic cards and product packaging could be used as a cheaper method to combat fraud, scientists suggest...>>

..."The beauty of this system is that there is no need to modify the item being protected in any way with tags, chips or inks it's as if documents and packaging have their own unique DNA. This makes protection covert, low-cost, simple to integrate into the manufacturing process and immune to attacks against the security feature itself.">>

One PC mag says it can also help against CD & DVD fraud (& will probably have many similar uses): click here.

  DieSse 22:55 09 Aug 2005

What an excellent technique, and made in the UK too.

  justme 20:21 11 Aug 2005

I'm probably wrong, but surely any surface imperfections will be random and therefore unless you scan the exact same area you will get a different pattern.

I am also dubious about what would happen when the document is handled, crushed, wrinkled, folded, covered with dust or dirt, or even soaked and then dried. To my mind these actions would certainly alter surface imperfections and all are liable to happen at some time to documents such as passports etc.

Seems a good idea but will it stand up in the real world?

  GaT7 20:59 11 Aug 2005

justme, I thought exactly the same, but surely that's something the makers must have as well & if you read further it says:

"The technique was tried on a variety of materials including matt-finish plastic cards, identity cards and coated paperboard packaging and resulted in clear recognition between the samples. This continued even after they were subjected to rough handling including submersion in water, scorching, scrubbing with an abrasive cleaning pad and being scribbled on with thick black marker." G

  GaT7 21:04 11 Aug 2005

Even then, if it still appears too good to be true, & you'd like to follow this up with the creators you could contact:

Abigail Smith, Imperial College London Press Office, Tel: 020 7594 6701, Email: [email protected]

  justme 23:26 11 Aug 2005

Thanks for the link, but my days of being involved in research projects are now far behind me so I think I will just wait and see how things work out.

No doubt, if it is as good as is being claimed then the government will start to use it on id cards and charge us a fortune to do so :-))

As I said in my first posting, I'm probably wrong.

  GaT7 21:07 13 Aug 2005

"...the government will start to use it on id cards and charge us a fortune to do so :-))" - the ID cards themselves will cost a fortune & this (if used), going by their claims, will hopefully not increase the price by much. G

  justme 21:34 13 Aug 2005

The government's idea of much is completely different from mine. They are well paid and have lots of expences they can claim while I am retired. Enough said!

  GaT7 21:52 13 Aug 2005

justme, I would agree & can understand - my circumstances are not ideal either. G

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