Someday, Citigroup is hoping that you won’t even need a debit card to use their ATMs. They’re currently developing an iris scanner that will allow you to withdraw cash with nothing but your eyes and your smartphone. The customer would have to log into their mobile banking app, and type in how much money they want to withdraw. The machine would then confirm their identity by scanning their iris, and spit out the cash.
The new card reader is supposedly being developed for convenience and security purposes, since it will significantly speed up the transaction process. And without a physical card they can eliminate the risk of card skimming, which contributes to the vast majority of ATM thefts. However, there is a very good reason to be suspicious of the device. Aside from the fact that smartphones are incredibly hackable, the machine itself may be vulnerable. After all, it is being designed in collaboration Diebold Inc, the company that made those notoriously vulnerable voting machines. And believe it or not, iris scanners aren’t as secure as you might think. While the machine will undoubtedly prevent one form of theft, it may lead to different kinds of skimming techniques in the near future.
It’s a perfect example of the trend we’ve seen time and time again in our high-tech society. Convenience has a cost, and it’s often paid for with our privacy and our security.
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Contributed by Joshua Krause of The Daily Sheeple.
Joshua Krause is a reporter, writer and researcher at The Daily Sheeple. He was born and raised in the Bay Area and is a freelance writer and author. You can follow Joshua’s reports at Facebook or on his personal Twitter. Joshua’s website is Strange Danger .