An Israeli general is at work on a “biometric security” system that he believes will have New Yorkers tossing out their keys and maybe ditching their doormen, too.
Using sophisticated scanners that can recognize a person’s face, voice, build and stride, the system can unlock your door in under two seconds. Any strangers not in the database will be denied access.
“This is only the beginning,” says General Aharon Farkash, the founder and president of the firm FST21. “This is the way people will enter buildings in the 21st century.”
To help establish FST21 in the states, Farkash opened a North American office earlier this month at 7 World Trade Center. Should you drop by, you’ll be greeted by one of its security devices. But unless he’s beamed a code to your phone or you work there already, there’s no convincing the small 8-inch scanner to let you in.
“Cities are crowded, often dangerous places, with the gap between rich and poor growing,” Farkash says. “We need a way to live safely but also comfortably next door to one another.”
For those worried about privacy as well as security, Farkash stresses that the system is self-contained, so it is impossible to hack from outside. It also stores no data of users coming and going beyond two weeks.
“I was the Israeli NSA, so I can tell you I know privacy, and the best effort is being made to keep things private,” Farkash says.
Gee, sounds fabulous.
Except I don't buy that part about keeping things private and anybody who has even scanned an article in the last year about NSA spying shouldn't either - they'll be tracking everywhere you go via this "biometric security" apparatus, the cell phone you carry and the credit cards you use to purchase items.
Such is life in the 21st century.
But besides our privacy and humanity, what else do we lose in the tradeoff when every building starts using "biometric security"?
Why, unionized jobs of course!
For individual homeowners, it offers the convenience — and cool factor — of not having to fumble for the keys anymore, especially with the kids and groceries in hand. For condo and co-op boards, it could mean serious savings.
“It’s much cheaper than a doorman,” Farkash says. “To have 24-seven coverage, that’s four shifts a day, at least $250,000 a year. Our system is 70% less to install, and 90% less to maintain each year after that.”
Oh, goodie - another technological advance that will replace jobs humans do.
On the plus side, when the people who used to have jobs but can no longer find them in our increasingly globalized, technology-laden economy start to steal to eat, the "biometric security" will keep them out of your condo.
On the negative side, you (or I) may be the one the security is looking to keep out.
More plutocratic propaganda from the Daily News masking itself as "journalism".