All of which makes this story in The Times about cloning of electronic passports all the more worrying. E-passports have been held up as the gold standard of travel security (despite the loudly-voiced concerns of security experts) and there is a risk that airport check-in or security staff, faced with a suspect traveller, will see an e-passport as an unquestionable confirmation of identity. We may laugh at the stereotype of someone who abdicates all responsibility to a computer, but should we be more worried when the response is not "computer says no" but "computer says yes"?
Posts on this blog represent my opinion. It may be my considered opinion on the basis of my formal study of law and technology. But it is not legal advice. It must not be treated as, or acted upon as, legal advice and no liability is accepted for doing so.
Wednesday, 6 August 2008
Computer Says Yes, Mr Bin Laden - have a nice trip!
To err is human, goes the saying, but to really make a mess of things requires a computer. Yet everyday experience suggests that we tend to be remarkably trusting of the output of computers - perhaps the most common recent example being the stories of drivers cheerfully following GPS directions the wrong way up one-way streets, or even through floods or onto railway tracks.