Scan in the end times!One time, in Junior High, a gentleman came to our church and gave a great long talk about the one world government that was coming, the one world economy that it would bring, and how soon everyone would be required to put a chip in their wrists if they wanted to buy things. He said those who resisted would be chased down by black helicopters (which had in fact already been after him) and all true Christians would have to move underground and live in tunnels or they would be killed. I remember not sleeping for a week and crying all the way home. But I guess the guy is at least sort of right, or at least still has a spot somewhere in my mind. I was at Jewel the other day (a grocery chain for you non-Chicagoans) and noticed a peculiar payment option on the everpresent card scanner. The Tribune today ran an article that helped answer all my questions about the latest in consumer technology: Pay by Touch.
According to the article, anyone confusing this with fingerprint commerce are sorely confused:
" No image of the fingerprint is actually stored, Morris said, so even if in a worst-case scenario hackers intercepted and decoded the equation, they still wouldn't have a fingerprint, just elements of it. And the information is not sold or shared with other companies or the government--at least not without a court order, he said."
So, of course, no one could ever convert the mathmatical equation into a fingerprint image and steal your identity. Nope, not possible. If you are nervous about signing up, I'm sure the sign up process will win you over. According to the print edition of this article all it takes is the following simple, risk free steps at any one of the pay by touch machines.
1. enter a seven-digit search code, usually your phone number.
2. scan your driver's license or other government issued ID.
3. insert a blank check.
4. scan your jewel card.
5. scan both your right and left index fingers.
See, that's it. Nothing to be concerned about! I'm not sure what part of the machine actually puts a bar code or chip into your wrist, but I haven't tried signing up yet.
For those who are still hesitant, not to worry, apparently Py by Touch isn't really interested in you: "The word [fingerprint] might have some baggage. But your fingerprint can only be used by you," he said. "The people who see baggage in it might be people we don't want to sign up anyway." In all honestly I have no idea what that means but there you have it.