Leeuwarder Courant, 13 December 2014: 'Can that thumbprint come off my passport?'
Excerpt from weekly column by Jantien de Boer:
"Beware," British cosmologist Stephen Hawking said this week. "Computers will destroy humanity." Devices are getting smarter and smarter. "The development of artificial intelligence may soon herald the end of the human race."
I tried to imagine it, but it didn't work. Or well, just the other day I was in all states when I tried to connect my phone to my laptop. Ranting, I rammed on the keyboard, the dog with anxiously lowered ears at my feet. So Hawking may well be right. And I thought of him again when I saw a call las of the Privacy First foundation. That club is fighting against the central storage of fingerprints made possible by our new Passport Act.
Under pressure from politicians, the fingerprint library containing thumbs and index fingers of perfectly normal Dutch people has now been destroyed, but Privacy First still wants to provoke a principled court ruling on the issue, just to be on the safe side. Because the Dutch state is just trying to get permission to store Dutch fingerprints again through the back door.
I read it and ran upstairs to the passport drawer. Frowning, I looked at my travel document. Yes indeed. Of course I had bravely put a clean finger on a scanning device again. It is required by Europe, the Dutch government says, but so much is required. I also have to eat healthy, and brush my teeth, and exercise more often. Can I get that thumbprint off my passport?
(...) We don't need artificial intelligence at all to send ourselves to hell. We have (...) smart phones, and surveillance cameras, and passports with fingerprints. I'm sure that will work out just fine."
Source: Leeuwarder Courant 13 December 2014, section Sneon and Snein, p. 2.