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Iris-Scan ID Cards For Children In Mexico 114

Posted by timothy
from the cuidado-con-el-gobierno dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Today the first ID cards that include iris and fingerprint biometric information were registered and issued in the Mexican state of Guanajuato. (Original article in Spanish.) The juicier part of the story is that for now, only children will be enrolled in this national biometric database. It is intended that by December 2012 all children in the country will be registered. The alleged purpose of the new ID card is to hinder the abduction of children and prevent child exploitation. The first ID cards are being issued in the same city that last year started implementing a mandatory iris scan for convicted felons and voluntary members of the public in a Minority Reportesque plan to combat delinquency that features iris readers in public transport and ATMs. This comes from the country that last year attempted and failed to create a national database of mobile phone users, again with the purported intention to tackle extortion and kidnappings."
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Iris-Scan ID Cards For Children In Mexico

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  • "he alleged purpose of the new ID card is to hinder the abduction of children and prevent child exploitation. "

    That IS it's purpose and it will help.
    Whether or not you think it's worth it is a different matter.
    Something everyone must understand is that this technology implementation is coming, everywhere. And it has a good purpose. Don't waste your time stopping it, use that time to get protection from abuse into law.

    • > Don't waste your time stopping it, use that time to
      > get protection from abuse into law.

      You appear to believe that both:
      a) it is possible to get populist legislation enacted
      b) it is not possible for government to break the law.

      Your plan fails on both counts. At least in Mexico and the USA.

      • by blair1q (305137)

        You appear to believe that not telling the government how to do its job properly is a good idea.

        If you make bad things illegal, even if the federales do them, and you enforce that, even if the federales are the defendant, then you end up with rule of law.

        Make it explicit that there are illegal uses of the identification system, then the identification system will be safer than not having one.

        We do a similar thing here all the time with Free Speech. You have a right to it, and you can use it rather blithely

        • by geekoid (135745)

          Thank you.

          Sometimes I feel like I'm screaming into the wind.

          • by gringofrijolero (1489395) on Tuesday March 15, 2011 @08:09PM (#35498506) Journal

            I don't know where you think you would find your little law and order utopia, but it sure isn't here. Kidnapping (and the drug war) is a problem due to official corruption, not for lack of tagging our kids like cattle..

            Outsider meddling in our domestic politics doesn't help matters any either

            • by blair1q (305137)

              Whining about tagging your kids like cattle is a waste of resources when you should be fighting the corruption.

              We'll remember that "outsider meddling" crack when you come begging for our troops to end the corruption for you.

              • Thank you for showing you don't have clue. Blinded by arrogance to this day you are... And you wonder why the world doesn't bow down to you..

                • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

                  by Grishnakh (216268)

                  I don't give a rat's ass about the world bowing down to us. If I had my way, we'd build a big wall on our southern border and shoot anyone who climbs over or tunnels under it, stop all foreign aid to your failed state (and most other countries as well), legalize pot and decriminalize all other drugs, stop all trade with you, and let you morons kill yourselves. Your culture worships violence, crime, and Santa Muerte [wikipedia.org] (the Saint of Death), your people are more violent than just about any on earth, and you sh

                  • Your culture worships violence, crime.. your people are more violent than just about any on earth, and you should be isolated and left to your own devices.

                    Coming from an American... That's... interesting...

                    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                      by Grishnakh (216268)

                      How so? It's your broken culture that produces the violence seen here [blogdelnarco.com]. Sure, we have some problems with violence, but nothing remotely like what's seen there. Moreover, when we glamorize violence in our Hollywood movies, it's about "good guys" shooting up "bad guys". People cheer when the criminals get killed.

                      In Mexico, it's the criminals who are considered heroes: http://www.khou.com/news/Narco-culture-glamorizes-violent-lifestyle-in-Mexico-and-in-Texas-116571258.html [khou.com]
                      Mexican musicians write songs ("nar

                    • It's your broken culture that produces the violence seen here. Sure, we have some problems with violence, but nothing remotely like what's seen there.

                      *cough* [iraqbodycount.org] Yeah, we know. You've off shored that too.

                      I don't believe I've ever seen anybody so swallowed up in the media trap. You are so high on the blue pill you literally don't see beyond your own skin. One thing you do show, your politicians are made in your image... Thank you for a most educational perspective. Pero huele muy feo el pedorro

                    • (Mexican speaking here)

                      The image of Mexico in the USA is that of a wild land, full of violence, full of smuggling and –as you say– taking narcos as role models. It is far from that. Even if we have seen a huge setback in legality and we have got far more nervous in the last couple of years (since the current president started his mandate, as legitimate as GWBush's first)... Most of the country is far from what you say. You are refering to a panorama similar to the one presented in Luis Estrada's

                    • by Grishnakh (216268)

                      You make some interesting points, however I think the problem is far greater than you realize. I think there's probably a big difference between what people in your southern cities (particularly Mexico City) see, and what the entire northern half of the country sees. It's not just along the border. I have a housekeeper from Sinaloa, and the entire state there is mostly taken over by the cartel. The Sinaloan cartel is pretty well-known, and as you can see on a map, it's 3-400 miles south of the border.

                    • As for gun control, have you ever thought that maybe that's part of your problem? We don't have a whole lot of problems with organized crime violence, except in inner cities (which do have gun control), yet people can easily obtain weapons here. Maybe if your own people had access to weapons, they wouldn't be such easy victims for the cartels, who are now branching out into many other businesses such as sex trafficking and kidnap-and-ransom.

                      No, no, you are mistaken here (at least related to what we see in t

                    • by Grishnakh (216268)

                      During the last couple of days (1 or 2 weeks), the radio news show I listen to in the morning has been giving quite a bit of attention to the Fast and Furious operation – an investigation carried out by US authorities, without Mexican knowledge, allowing a group of drug dealers to smuggle into Mexico over 1900 high power weapons, attempting to track their distribution. Again, I cannot get into further details here, but it's been quite a scandal this side of the border. But don't worry, we will forget

                  • Your suggested course of action sounds good, I'm eagerly awaiting the government of CANADA to follow it.
        • "and you enforce that"

          Well, that's the real trick, isn't it? Who enforces the enforcers?

          In the USA, the Legislature is supposed to supervise the Executive.

          The last time enforcement happened, Nixon was President.

          The next time it was attempted was when Republicans controlled both houses of Congress and a Democrat president committed the "high crime" of lying about an extramarital affair. Basically the "separation of powers" the framers crafted has degenerated into Democrats vs Republicans.

          Enforcing laws thi

          • by blair1q (305137)

            If only Bubba could have been president Anonymously...

            As for revolutions, bring more martyrs. It generally takes thousands acting in concert. If the black-hats aren't afraid to die for their drugs, the people need to step up with the risk-taking to get them put down.

            • > bring more martyrs

              So you want the peaceful law-abiding Mexicans to step more firmly in the line of fire to kill the "black-hat" Mexicans we buy from?

              This is a problem the US created. We made drug possession a crime, we buy the drugs, and we extort drug enforcement from the Mexican government.

              How will escalating the Mexican bloodshed into a full-on civil war improve things?

    • by c0lo (1497653)

      "he alleged purpose of the new ID card is to hinder the abduction of children and prevent child exploitation. "

      That IS it's purpose and it will help. Whether or not you think it's worth it is a different matter.

      Another matter: will help who exactly?

    • by sjames (1099)

      So of course the recorded iris scan will be deleted upon reaching the age of majority. Won't it?

    • by interkin3tic (1469267) on Tuesday March 15, 2011 @08:23PM (#35498606)

      "he alleged purpose of the new ID card is to hinder the abduction of children and prevent child exploitation. "

      That IS it's purpose and it will help.

      No, it's purpose is security theater: to make the citizens think their government is taking serious steps to combat the security problem.

      How are ID cards supposed to stop children abduction or exploitation? "Crap! We can't kidnap and exploit this kid: his irises are catalogued! The police will know he's not ours! Now that kid standing NEXT to him is clearly an orphan and will be untagged. Tie him up and put him in the sweatshop, then any police who notice will think he's OUR kid, along with the other 20."

      Or is it more "Stay back evildoers! I have AN ID CARD!!!"
      Evildoers: "Oh no! He'll give us papercuts!"

      Or is it that most of the people using/kidnapping kids are confused and think they're unclaimed children that are finders keepers?

      It's a thoroughly nonsensical idea that will do nothing to stop any real problem, hence the sarcasm in the post.

      • It is very easy to falsify documents over here in Mexico. Actually, it's as easy as going to the registry office and using an ATM-like machine that gives out birth certificates to anyone who asks and from there you can get a whole new set of documents for yourself with someone else's name on them. Also, the one and only documentation that government agencies accept for a child is their birth certificate. For lesser stuff, the school id could be sufficient, but for official matters, you need the birth certif
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      "he alleged purpose of the new ID card is to hinder the abduction of children and prevent child exploitation. "

      That IS it's purpose and it will help.

      "Let's grab that kid and sell her as a sex slave."
      "We can't! She's got an ID card."

      ...yeah.

      This is the same thinking behind fingerprint kits, which are claimed to help keep your kid from being abducted.
      Sorry; the truth of the matter is, they're only useful in identifying kids after they have been abducted, and honestly in some cases dental records would be better for that.

    • No, it's an excuse for tracking _everyone_. "Think of the children" has been a rallying cry for numerous attacks on civil liberties, free speech, anonymity, and a general desire to have full access to everyone's personal matters.

      Most child abductions are by relatives: divorced parents pulling children across state lines because they disagree with divorce court proceedings, often with good reason, is one of the most common sources of child abduction. Tnad this will do very little about that unless the _state

    • by russotto (537200)

      Something everyone must understand is that this technology implementation is coming, everywhere. And it has a good purpose. Don't waste your time stopping it, use that time to get protection from abuse into law.

      Once the ID system is in place, any protections can be eliminated from law with the stroke of a pen. Or simply ignored by the government, a la Bush and US wiretapping.

    • by houghi (78078)

      Counted sheep are eaten by wolfs too.

      Say I am a kidnapper. Do you think that I would care whether your kid has ID, a cellphone and a personal tracer? I will still take your kid. If it is for money, those items will be easier for me to determine the price. If it is for personal lust, then those items could be seen as trophies or as lust.

      In Belgium many kids have ID cards and phones. Kids still disappear. The majority because they run away from home. Then there are those that are kidnapped by the other parent

      • A bit of a special case. The Belgian police are so lazy, corrupt and incompetent they'd make an Indian blush. Remember when the back door to a police station was left open and a convicted paedophile walked out? Remember when they heard the imprisoned kids behing a false wall and did nothing? The one who crashed his car while drunk and tried to get subordinates to cover it up?

        Until you fix that (i.e. fire the vast majority of them, and jail a fair few) nothing else is going to work.

    • Child abduction does appear to be a problem in mexico. A larger question is what happens to the biometric data when they become adults. I suspect it WON'T be deleted, and I suspect those people won't have that option offered to them. Meaning that the entire country will (in one generation) be biometric scanned. Think of the children is such an easy way to conn people into giving up their freedom.
  • You're a fake (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Wowsers (1151731) on Tuesday March 15, 2011 @07:35PM (#35498218) Journal

    ID cards help fraudsters, they provide a valid "government backed" way of proving something that is not necessarily true. How do spies have multiple identities despite these "fraud proof" ID cards? It is a scam to get people on the databases for a dark future the governments plan. Drip drip, your freedom is being taken from under your noses.

    It is more worrying that they are getting at the children, so they get used to these cards and think nothing of them... then when they grow older they will blame their parents for doing nothing about the cards, and enslaving them and future generations.

    • by black3d (1648913)

      You watch too many movies.

      • by macraig (621737)

        You watch too many movies.

        Ummm... no he doesn't. You don't watch enough. Or read. Or think.

        • by black3d (1648913)

          Really? Please elaborate on your findings of "spies" using multiple copies of fraudulent biometic iris scans.

      • You watch too many movies.

        You don't read enough history.

        • by black3d (1648913)

          You're right. I must be missing the part of history which shows "spies" using multiple fraudulent biometric iris scans.

          In my knowledge of spy history, such as the Illegals Operation for example, two of the agents used their original identity - Anna Chapman included. The rest used stolen identities of American citizens. The reason these were able to be stolen is because we DON'T use biometric data or iris scans in our identification. You're commenting on an article, saying:

          How do spies have multiple identities despite these "fraud proof" ID cards?

          The fact is, if iris scans were on

        • by black3d (1648913)

          And apologies, I treated you as OP, although you're not. Hopefully you'll see what I was replying to originally, however.

    • by blair1q (305137)

      You're about as free as a wage-slave in a plutocracy can be. But you're so busy worrying about civil rights that don't exist, and trying to stop government calamities that won't ever exist, you don't even notice that you're shovelling the value of your life's work into the Koch Bros' pockets leaving yourself to be homeless when you outlive your retirement savings.

      • by Grishnakh (216268)

        you don't even notice that you're shovelling the value of your life's work into the Koch Bros' pockets leaving yourself to be homeless when you outlive your retirement savings.

        Don't be ridiculous. No one, including, the Koch Bros, want old people to outlive their retirement savings. They simply want average, middle-class people to never stop working and not retire at all, until they finally fall down dead on the job. The more the people at the bottom work and contribute to the GNP, the more the money the

        • by blair1q (305137)

          Don't kid yourself. Every old person will be replaced by someone who does more work for less gruel.

    • by geekoid (135745)

      haha. You need to get your view on spies from better sources then 'Burn Notice'. Although it is a good show.

      enslaving them. Gah, to quote BB: "What an maroon"

    • by Sarten-X (1102295)

      Gee, I wonder how government spies could have fake government records... It's not like the world's current method of checking a foreigner's information is to just ask their government... oh wait...

  • Unless they attach this to Hacienda, the only government department that actually works.

  • Id or not, the children will be abducted and exploited. This id will not help children at all.

    Ids are useful when people enter a place, not when the leave it.

    • by geekoid (135745)

      A large portion of children are kidnapped by family members who will not otherwise harm the child.
      Now when they register for school, people will be notified, or get medicine and so on.

      Ids are useful when they are checked. The direction you are going is irrelevant.

      No, it won't help all children, but it will help most children.

      Contrary to what many vocal people on /. think, laws like these do have a preventative effect. How much? that depends on the situation.

      • so when their heads turn up in a ditch, and their body turns up in a dumpster, you will be able to match the parts together.

        this post is not a joke. just google what is going on down there.

        • by Grishnakh (216268)

          Don't be ridiculous. Heads don't wind up in ditches in Mexico, they're put on public display in town squares. Sometimes, they even strip the skin off the skull, and display the two separately, just for kicks. As for the body, it doesn't go in a dumpster whole, all the limbs are cut off, because apparently Mexicans enjoy that kind of thing.

          Read all about it here: http://www.blogdelnarco.com/ [blogdelnarco.com]

          • Come on... Mexicans enjoy that? Please have some sensibility while posting.

            A tiny percentage of our population is sickly violent — And we have not yet invaded a foreign country where we can ship them so they just kill people with different ethnic origins. So we have to cope with sickly violent people. The country is not completely invaded and rotten (i.e. Mexico City, where I live, is just a regular big city, where I can walk with more or less the same confidence I would mostly in any big city in the

      • A large portion of children are kidnapped by family members who will not otherwise harm the child. Now when they register for school, people will be notified, or get medicine and so on.

        What "large portion of children" are we talking about? I'm going to say if it's under 10% of children abducted, invading the other 90%'s privacy is too high a price. And whatever the numbers, mandatory rather than opt-in is unjustified.

      • Seems easier to just investigate the family members when the kid goes missing. And if someone wants the kid, needing to show ID for school or a hospital just means that they won't take it there.
      • by westlake (615356) on Tuesday March 15, 2011 @10:45PM (#35499598)

        A large portion of children are kidnapped by family members who will not otherwise harm the child.

        You can't be certain of that.

        But it is particularly dangerous to compare the U.S. - where extortion abductions are almost unknown - to a country where kidnapping for profit has become big business.

        Colombia was once Latin America's kidnapping capital, where Marxist guerrillas took hostages and held them for months, even years, in recondite jungle camps, using them as political bargaining chips or human shields. But in recent years, as drug cartels in Mexico have branched out into other forms of crime, kidnapping there has become a lucrative cash industry.

        As kidnappings for ransom surge in Mexico, victims' families and employers turn to private U.S. firms instead of law enforcement [washingtonpost.com]

      • by Grishnakh (216268)

        You're thinking of abductions in the USA. In Mexico, they're more likely to rape the children, as raping young girls is a national pastime there. Then they'll kill them. Biometric ID might be useful in matching the severed body parts together however.

  • will now have everyones iris scan. wonderful!

    if you dont believe me just google up the NPR stories about the drug war in mexico.

    journalists have stopped reporting. politicians have stopped talking. the drug gangs control everything, including, now, your children's biometric data.

    • by Grishnakh (216268)

      Mexico is a failed state. The government no longer has any control over most of the country, except probably Mexico City itself. Mexico is best compared to Somalia, a very similar country with no more effective government and no rule of law. Worse, Somalia is probably a safer place to travel.

  • by Speare (84249) on Tuesday March 15, 2011 @09:11PM (#35498922) Homepage Journal

    Every time I read a universal biometric plan, I think of the old sci-fi book, This Perfect Day [amazon.com] by Ira Levin. It was written in that timeless-far-future style that Asimov or Clarke would write, and it describes a day when all people had a nameber (a name/number combined) like "Bob RM04TG5002," all but a few old-timers were genetically indistinguishable by sight, and all governance was centralized into an all-knowing UniComp. Everyone had to ask UniComp for everything by touching their permanent bracelet to a scanner at every opportunity. Of course the main character was quirky and rebelled.

    As a kid reading it, it really taught me the concept of willful non-conformism and individuality. Other stories like Caves of Steel touched on parts of it, but this was the central idea here. Worth a quick read if you want to grab it. Don't thank me, thank Uni.

  • A few years ago, the whole elector's database was illegaly sold to private companies, including an American one, and as a result most people keep receiving unwanted calls from their banks up to 7 or 8 times a day trying to sell you insurance over the phone or asking for overdue payments, same from other companies, sometimes for years even if it was a clerical error. Last year the government tried to force everybody to register their cell phones since most people opt for prepaid cards to avoid fraudulent cha
  • And today's 100% of the children become 100% of the adults in several years. It is more like a grandfather clause. There is no way any government will ever delete data once it is collected. Not gonna happen.

    In any case, it is interesting that they would collect an iris scan. I *hate* the idea of a government collecting any "latent"-able biometrics from anyone not *convicted* of a serious crime (see below). If one method HAD to be chosen, however, a retinal scan would be the best (iris might be second

    • It can be planted in the computer records. Why would you think that is actually reliable?

      It's also uncomfortable and easily confused (though not faked) by laser surgy for vision correction or diabetic retinopathy,by cataracts, or even by contacts.

      • by markdavis (642305)

        Well, *any* data can be planted into computer records. That doesn't address the actual ID technology, itself. (Of course, it is a valid concern across the board).

        As for comfort- a DNA ID verification could probably be a lot more invasive and uncomfortable (cheek swap, blood draw) at least by today's standards. A fast retinal scan design would be to simple look into eyepiece for a second. Done. I think a modern system could be almost as fast as a fingerprint scan.

        I don't think laser surgery for vision c

        • DNA ID's are expensive. They use consumable chemicals, and drawing body fluids into a publicly accessible device presents fascinating liability and exposure issues, and they neglect the existence of "chimeras", organisms (including humans) who have multiple sets of DNA. (They're fascinating medically, usually from shared blood supples with non-identical twins before birth.)

          Laser surgery to correct vision distorts the lens: that can cause profound distortion of the expected retinal image, beyond the ability

  • Both positive failures
    (Mr Diego, we thing you are Sr Domingo, and here is your execution)

    and negative failures
    (Snr Diego-the-ceramic-salesman, you and your truck of ($excuses$) are welcome, and since you have a US-DEA iris, we'll give you these informers names too. May I swallow?

    will happen.

    Has your society attempted to understand why one person thinks that they are better than (and more valuable than) AnyRandomclient, who is surveilled.

    Oh, obviously time is important. People aren't important, but that

  • It is not related to children being more abduction-prone (or not so much, anyway)... It is because of a legal controversy.

    In Mexico, we do have one federally issued ID document: The voting card. It is a document I have often criticized, as it lacks many important controls - but it has proven enough for its main designed use: Identifying yourself at the voting table. It does not have too much personal information, as it is not needed, and it is not terrible that it is relatively easy to forge, as it has to b

  • As a Mexican all that I can say is that I will not have children in this country, I will find a way to migrate and have them somewhere else. I don't usually care about the whole security theater that this country does, but I will not have my children biometric information stored on some government database, no, it is just not ever going to happen.

    I never thought I could be more ashamed of this country. Don't let this happen in your countries people.

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