You think the big brother surveillance state is getting creepy here in America, check out what central banks are doing in other countries.
Via All Africa:
In line with the ongoing initiative of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Bankers’ Committee (comprising Chief Executives of the nation’s deposit money banks), banks across the country are to begin capturing of customer biometric data as part of Bank Verification Numbers (BVN).
The rollout of the BVN solution for the identification and verification of bank customers is expected to begin in 1,000 selected bank branches across Lagos, as a prelude to a nationwide rollout.
This is in alignment with the phased approach adopted in executing the three-tiered Know-Your-Customer (KYC) and cashless policy of the CBN.
That’s right. In addition to the Central Bank of Nigeria’s new cashless policy — which aims at “reducing” the amount of paper money and coins circulating in the economy and encouraging more electronic transactions by adding a ‘cash handling charge’ — a new biometric program will require customers to sign up for a Bank Verification Number and present themselves at any branch for fingerprinting (all 10 fingers), facial image capture, and more.
No customer will be able to do any banking whatsoever without those fingerprints.
Some articles have also tossed around voice recognition and retina scans as well.
All to “revolutionize” banking…for people’s safety and security, of course.
CBN Governor Lamido Sanusi launched the new biometric registration at the head office on behalf of the Bankers’ Committee in February. Punch quoted Sanusi as saying, “We have launched the Bank Verification Number today, the timetable suggests that within 18 months, every customer would have been registered. This is a day that we would remember for many reasons, not for where we are but where we are likely to get from here. Nobody can steal this identity except he or she steals my fingers…”
Apparently this guy hasn’t seen a whole lot of science fiction films.
The nation of India has instituted similar measures, recently rolling out a massive biometric identity system which aims to collect the iris and fingerprints of every single one of its over a billion citizens, linked to a 12-digit identity number.
Never mind that iris scanners and fingerprint IDs have all been easily fooled. Someone has been reading a lot of the Bible lately, specifically Revelations.
These types of measures are being rolled out in developing nations first, but don’t worry, they’ll make their way here soon enough.
Eventually, no one will be able to buy or sell anything without giving up their biometrics to big brother and his database.
U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo are already piloting voice recognition biometrics as I type this.