Privacy Issues Surrounding Biometric Technology

The terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center have provoked in-depth discussion and study of existing security measures, their deficiencies, and how to enhance security to prevent similar terrorist attacks from occurring in the future. Biometric technology has risen to the top of the list as a possible solution. The government is not the only entity exploring biometric security systems. The financial services industry see biometrics as a way to curb identity theft. Biometrics are intrinsic physical characteristics used to identify individuals. The most commonly used biometric is fingerprints but others include, handprints, facial features, iris & retinal scans, and voice recognition.

Soon after 9/11 there were calls for the issuance of national ID cards containing biometric information on an RFID chip implanted on the card. The argument is that national ID cards will increase security by identifying individuals with their unique fingerprints which are much more difficult to counterfeit than standard photo ID cards. There is also a movement toward biometric passports. It looks like biometric passports are coming soon. National ID cards may follow.

Biometric identification is nothing new. Humans have been identifying other humans biometrically since the beginning of time. You recognize people you know by their facial features, their voice, and other biometric features. What’s new is introducing technology into the mix that compares a given biometric with a stored database of biometrics to verify the identity of an individual. An individual place their finger on a fingerprint scanner and the image is compared with the database to verify the person’s identity. Promising as it is, biometric technology has not been without hiccups but biometrics are advancing quickly and becoming more and more prevalent in security systems.

Fingerprints are the most commonly used biometric identifiers. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) conducted a study that showed single fingerprint biometric systems had a 98.6 percent accuracy rate. The accuracy rate rose to 99.6 percent when 2 fingerprints were used and an almost perfect 99.9 percent when 4 or more fingerprints were used. The study results show that biometric identification is nearly perfect which is not surprising given the uniqueness of human fingerprints.

The US-VISIT program, which is an acronym for United States Visitor & Immigrant Status Indicator Technology, currently requires foreign visitors to the US to present a biometric passport containing 2 fingerprints and a digital photo for identification purposes before being granted admission to the U.S. Of course the biometrics are compared against a vast network of government databases full of known and suspected terrorists and other criminals.

On the surface biometric technology may sound like a panacea but it’s use has raised significant privacy concerns that need to be addressed. Here are six major privacy concerns: storage, vulnerability, confidence, authenticity, linking, and ubiquity.

Critics wonder how the data will be stored and how vulnerable it will be to theft or abuse. Confidence issues center around the implications of false positives and false negatives. Can the biometric data be used to link to other information about the individual such as marital status, religion, employment status, etc.? And finally ubiquity. What are the implications of leaving electronic “bread crumbs” to mark a trail detailing every movement an individual makes?

Until these issues are addressed, privacy advocates will lead a charge to resist biometric technology claiming it as a way for the government to assume a “Big Brother” type of rule as described in George Orwell’s novel 1984. But protest as they may, it’s likely national security concerns and the ability of biometric systems to enhance the security of US border and possibly prevent another major terrorist attack will win out over privacy concerns.

What Are the Options of Internet Marketing Success?

If you are just starting in the world of internet marketing there are lots of options for you to choose from to be able to achieve the internet marketing success that you may have dreamed of. You may even have noticed that every site that you may have clicked on offers the best and latest deal just for you to make it online. However, such act may just cause you to feel like you're sinking in a flood of data.

Although there may be times that you'll be able to encounter certain complications in your venture to achieve your internet marketing success, internet marketing is not really that complicated once you get the hang out of it. There are just 3 simple things that you have to consider, things such as:

Traffic, this is one of the big three's that you have to think about for you to be able to make it through. If you want to generate sales on your site then you need the essential source of it and that is your clients. Traffic is the number among the three vital aspects that you need to focus into.

Then there is conversion, now that you have generated certain traffic. This should be the next step that is essential, converting your site's views into sales. To be able to achieve this you must have an informative site as well that offers an enticing promotion to your prospects. Be aware however that on the net it is an accepted fact that the conversion rate in percentage to your traffic is low. Therefore when monitoring your traffic stats do not be discouraged when you're not getting your expected high conversion rates. It basically takes time.

The last and the most important factor to achieve internet marketing success is MONEY. This is the very end result that every business minded person wish to achieve in every endeavor that he gets into. Once your traffic is converted into a sale it will be creating the end result that you've been learning- making money online.

Affiliate Commissions

Affiliate marketers participating in affiliate programs earn their keep through transactions. Commissions vary from program to program depending on the salability of the product. Some programs give as much as 45% to their affiliates while some affiliate programs give a mere 10%. So small compared to the effort an affiliate marketer puts into his task just to generate a sale.

So what do you do to increase your commission earnings? Do not join affiliate programs which commission rates are only 10%. Investigate the type of products or services that the affiliate programs are promoting to find out if the commission rate of 10% is justified. Beside, an affiliate marketer getting only a 10% commission rate needs to have an extremely large customer base to be able to earn a reasonable amount of money.

Consider this scenario: Suppose you were selling a product that costs about $ 100. To be able to earn enough money from this product you will need at least about 250 visitors to your website. If 60 customers out of the 3,000 visitors bought a product from the website that would give you a commission of $ 6000 a year.

Compare it with this scenario: You are selling a product that gives you $ 1 commission per affiliate program. You would need to sell at least 500 items per month to be able to earn a $ 6000 commission a year! A sales ratio of 2% would mean that your website would have to generate 300,000 visitors a year or 25,000 visitors a month.

Based on the two scenarios, I believe it would be more practical to sell a product of high value. As difficult as it is to attract visitors to a website, it is more difficult to make a sale. Selling a product of higher value would mean generating less traffic to the website but would still earn the affiliate marketer a reasonable amount of money.

And ask yourself this; is the product manufacturer serious with his affiliate marketing program? A manufacturer who is serious in promoting his products would not give a meager 10% commission to his marketing affiliates. You see, to be able to attract effective marketing affiliates the manufacturer would have to use generous commission as bait. So if a marketing program offers you a 10% commission, think about it overnight. You might find out that the effort you placed into selling the product can not be compensated with a 10% commission.

I know of an affiliate program that pays 45% commission to their top affiliate marketers. Second tier affiliate marketers of their program are given 10% commission. The affiliate program is giving away a generous 55% to their affiliate marketers and only keeps 45%! In my opinion, this is a smart marketing strategy. By paying high commissions to their affiliates, they are actually appealing more affiliates to their program. This means that the products they are promoting are moving at a higher volume. This means higher earnings for the manufacturer with no extra effort since the affiliates of his marketing program are doing all the work. This is like dangling a carrot in front of a donkey in order to make the donkey move! In order to make higher volume sales, a generous commission must be dangled in front of affiliate marketers!