German Hackers Publish Interior Minister's Fingerprint to Protest Against Biometric IDs

A group of hackers has captured the fingerprints of the German Interior Minister as a protest against plans to use biometric data in e-passports. The latest edition of their magazine, Die Datenschleuder, contains a plastic foil that reproduces the whorls and swirls of Wolfgang Schauble’s digit, meaning there are 4,000 copies of the politician’s prints just waiting to be attached to someone’s finger. More below.


The CCC got its hands on Schauble’s prints thanks to a sympathiser, who scarpered with a glass used by the minister during a panel discussion and handed it over to the hackers. Dirk Engling, a spokesman for CCC, defended the group’s actions, claiming it was a warning shot, and that fingerprints “certainly [did]not [belong]in the e-Pass.”

Along with Minister Schauble’s fingerprint, the group also published a wish-list of other politicians whose biometric data they’d like to get their mitts on—including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and the Prime Minister of Bavaria, Guenther Beckstein—as well as a guide on how to capture someone’s fingerprints from a glass successfully.

The lawyer hired by the CCC sees it like this: “If journalists and citizens were to do what the government is doing—that is, the collection and use of biometric data—then the prosecutor would be knocking at their doors.” Meanwhile, a po-faced spokeswoman for the Interior Ministry, refused to rule out legal action against the fingerprint-stealing hackers. [Heise online via Slashdot]

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