Feb 1, 2010

Mark Hitchcock on Biometrics in a Cashless Society

Nathan JonesBy Nathan Jones

How do biometrics fit into a cashless society?

Dr. David Reagan and I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Mark Hitchcock on the show Christ in Prophecy. Mark is a leading Bible prophecy expert, prolific author who has penned over 20 books on the end times, senior pastor of Faith Bible Church located in Oklahoma, and adjunct faculty member of the Dallas Theological Seminary. He is also a much in demand speaker at Bible prophecy conferences all over the nation.

Dr. Hitchcock was invited to answer questions based his book Cashless: Bible Prophecy, Economic Chaos, and the Future Financial Order. It concerns the world presently teetering on financial chaos, global interdependency, and modern technology all converging in such a way that a cashless society and one-world economy are not only possible, but inevitable.

Biometrics in a Cashless Society

Dr. Hitchcock: The importance of biometrics - and I wrote a whole chapter on in my book - I think is ultimately heading us towards the time when people are going to buy everything with their cellphone. We'll have radio frequency identification (RFID) encoded on a chip in our phones, and instead of having barcodes we are going to have RFID that will register what is being purchased so it can be automatically deducted. We won't have to go up and swipe or anything as the transaction will just automatically happen.

Now, I could take your cellphone or you could take mine and go buy things with it, so there is going to have to be some way to prove that the telephone that you have belongs to the correct person using it. That is where biometrics come in. You will need to go up to a scanner and place your thumbprint on it. It can also be done with an iris scan.

Scanning can even be done with body odor as everyone has it, like your breath. Your body odor is unique. That is how really advanced this technology is. When you think about the technology that is out there today it is truly staggering!

What security will do with biometric technology is make sure that the person using the device is the person who is supposed to have it. So, all you will have to do is have your cellphone duplicate your thumbprint, your iris, or whatever. The seller will then know it is you who owns the cellphone. You can walk through with all the groceries or whatever you purchased and it will just immediately register all of it in your cellphone.

Nathan Jones: Biometrics are becoming more and more popular with laptops and security systems and data centers. High security areas have almost all gone biometric.

Dr. Hitchcock: Yes, so this whole growing boom that is out there in biometric technology is the wave of the future. Biometrics will appeal to us on how it simplifies life and how much easier it makes things. That is the way biometrics are going to be sold to people.

Dr. Reagan: Biometrics is another essential part of becoming a cashless society.

Let's suppose everybody had to buy everything with a credit card. Well, credit cards can be stolen and credit cards can be lost. For security's sake we've got to have some way to control that. Preventing theft or loss can naturally be done with fingerprints, irises, or maybe some device placed under the skin. I've read of some devices that can be embedded under the skin for when you walk into a room that makes the lights automatically come on and other things can happen.

Nathan Jones: What is beyond the cellphone, though, because really when you think about it, a cellphone can be stolen? You could get a thumbprint of somebody else and then repurpose it. Biometrics are not a fool-proof system. Identities can be stolen right out of the databases, bypassing biometrics. What technology beyond the cellphone do you think the Antichrist might use?

Dr. Hitchcock: Well, I don't know, and nobody knows for sure what will be out there in the future. We see an exponential growth in the way things are going, though.

One thing that is interesting to see are commercials on television which show someone like a herdsman over in the middle of Africa and they've got a cellphone. My question is, "Where did you get the reception? Where is the cell tower? Who are they talking to?!" And yet, cellphone connectivity is becoming available everywhere. Just two decades ago cellphones didn't widely exist, and now everyone has one. Whatever will be the next great thing we maybe can't envision, but it can be discerned.

Dr. Reagan: We already have what, like five hundred of more plus apps for every phone?

Dr. Hitchcock: Oh, yes, it's incredible. I read the other day that there are two or three billion cellphones now that have been proliferating out there — unbelievable! So, there may be some newer technology that is coming very soon behind this.

Biometrics are a pretty failsafe technology. That adds to another advantage as to why biometrics are vital to the whole cashless system, in that while it doesn't completely eliminate identity theft, it certainly reduces it greatly.

Related Links

Campbell's AOptix sees secure future in your eyes - San Jose Business Journal
Cashless: Bible Prophecy, Economic Chaos, and the Future Financial Order - Mark Hitchcock (Book)
What is the mark of the beast (666)? - GotQuestions.org
Fingerprints seen as tool to toughen port security - Sydney Morning Herald
Apriva, Visa partner for cashless payment solutions - Contactless News