One of the conceits of South, my near-future thriller, is that in 2032, we will all be carrying what essentially is a national ID card embedded with voluminous information about ourselves, and security agencies will have an ID reader that can access all this data as well as check it against The Great Database in the Sky.
Now Discovery News is telling me yet again that the future isn’t so far away.
On 28 January, Discover ran a news item about Intellicheck Mobilisa, a Port Townsend, WA firm that’s offering a hardware/software combo that will essentially duplicate the functions of South’s “field reader” using existing driver’s licenses and other IDs. They write,
“…a small card reader is hooked up to a PC and it reads the data from a driver’s license or other form of ID. The reader is designed to read both bar codes and magnetic stripes. The device sends the data to the company’s servers, which are linked to various databases. The function is similar to the background checks one can buy online for a few dollars, except in this case it is in real-time.”
They also helpfully note that the firm has already sold this system to the military, some police agencies, and retailers.