Fernando Ortega’s 500 word Article Summary

TO:Prof. Ellis
SUBJECT:500-Word Summary of Weinberg’s “Law and Technology- Biometric Identity”

Jonathan T. Weinberg discusses about the biometric technology being implemented in some places like India and Pakistan and how it’s had a positive impact. Trying to make slight improvements with keeping data organized, secured, and easier for the government and people. Though that is the case for these places, the U.S. made the decision to drop the idea on biometrics and Weinberg then goes on about what improvements India and Pakistan have started, that could have benefited the U.S and possibly some issues. In the article, “Law and Technology- Biometric Identity” by Jonathan T. Weinberg, he gives valid points that could change the use of ids to biometric technology.

Biometric id card would link the person’s biometric data such as fingerprints, iris scans, and a photograph making it difficult to replicate that information. To ensure the card belongs to the card holder, a biometric verification test would be done to guarantee the card indeed belongs to the card holder. India plans to use their people’s biometric data to then link that to any governmental data given in a card for uses in work, ATMs, and health benefits keeping all that data in their protected databases. This policy would be much helpful for the U.S. to link biometric id to the people to check whether the person has any criminal record, has work authorization, and reduces identity fraud. 

According to Weinberg, “talks about Pakistan using the biometric data in voting registration, to track down people that have voted more than one time in voting election to then de-duplicating them.”  In addition, mentions about uncovering many workers that are “ghost worker”, government having more of an organized place, and being able to reduce less fraud and trust between people. Another positive talked about biometrics is having an unborn baby registered since many poor countries don’t get paper documentation it would be beneficial to use biometric technology instead. 

Issues mentioned in the article would be the U.S. having people frightened on the idea of biometrics because it would contain vulnerable information on them of whether being noncitizen or citizen. Meaning that noncitizen people would be limited from doing anything like traveling, working, or even having health insurance and having the information whether they can be arrested or deported. Even the idea of the government taking control of people’s personal biometric data, is a problem since that limits them to anything because people have in trusted the government with all their sensitive information. Furthermore, something much worse would be the databases not being secured as people would of think that it would have been, hackers having very sensitive data very much like India databases.

Biometrics is a topic that can be easily understood and can make life’s easier for traveling, for keeping something protected, and make things faster. It is a topic that is interesting that Weinberg made valid points to believe in the biometrics technology and keep on using it. It is something that can lead to a brand-new technology or idea if done correctly, just like technology that help humanity.


Weinberg, J. T. (2016). Biometric Identity. Communications of the ACM59(1), 30–32. https://doi-org.citytech.ezproxy.cuny.edu/10.1145/2846082

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