Customers of a German supermarket chain will soon be able to pay for their shopping by placing their
finger on a scanner at the check-out.
An Edeka store in the southwest German town of Ruelzheim has piloted the technology since November,
cutting out on time otherwise wasted scrabbling for coins or cards.
The company plans to equip its stores across the region with the new technology.
Store manager Roland Fitterer said: "All customers need do is register once with their identity card
and bank details, then they can shop straight away".
The technology is based on comparing the shopper's fingerprint with those stored in its database
along with account details. Edeka bosses said they were confident the system could not be abused. The chance of two people
having the same fingerprint is about one in 220 million.
The Ninth Circuit Court – a regional US court with jurisdiction over 9 western states –
has ruled that law enforcement officials have the right to put a GPS tracking device on a person’s vehicle without a
warrant, without violating their privacy. The recent court decision was made on the case of Juan Pineda-Moreno.
In the course of their investigation into him the Drug Enforcement Agency placed a GPS monitor on
his Jeep, which was parked yards from his home. Mr. Pineda-Moreno argued that his right to privacy was violated by this monitoring.
The court stated that his driveway is a public through way for kids, dogs, bikes, and the like since it was open and without
fences or barriers, and that once the GPS device was planted, the DEA was then free to monitor Mr. Pineda-Moreno without the
need for a warrant.
If the government can walk up to your car or your bike and place a GPS device on it without a warrant,
then how far away are we from the day when the government can just take a look inside your house or just have a quick check
of your emails without a warrant? How far away are we from having this happen here in the UK? The good news is that other
circuit courts haven’t ruled the same way – including the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia whose
judges have been appointed by Presidents Reagan, Clinton, and Bush junior. The 9th Circuit Court decision may be contested
in the Supreme Court and, hopefully, overturned.
For now, if you live in the Western United States park your car or bike in your garage if you have