Thursday, August 11, 2005

Freaky Payment Methods

Freaky Payment Methods

I thought the thing about RFID implants in humans was bizarre and disturbing, but it seems closely rivaled by using fingerprints to pay for gasoline.

According to the P-D Business section article by Tavia Evans, a fellow Missouri Scholars Academy '95 alum:

"Here's how it works: To register, customers show a valid drivers license and a voided check for the cashier to scan. Then they place their right and left index fingers into a scanner and select a PIN, usually their 10-digit phone number."

The service has the rather surreal name of BioPay. Tavia's piece was probably started with their press release about a gas station in Arnold using the technology.

Of course, I know a lot of organizations have been using biometric technology for several years for timeclocks. This is still kind of intrusive, I think, but since so many employers are required to do background checks for various jobs, they have to collect fingerprints anyway.

Nevertheless, where do we draw the line at how much information about our bodies we are willing to provide just for convenience? For security and safety reasons, that's a little different; but even that should have limits.

I really don't see the great benefit to being able to pay for gas 30 seconds faster, by providing the gas station with my fingerprints.

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