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Laptop-Thief Fingerprint Grabber

Theives stolen your laptop? Get their fingerprints automatically!
  [vote for,

Simple idea really, leveraging the fingerprint access devices which seem to be becoming common on IBM/Lenovo machines in particular.

Basically kit these laptops out with GSM/3G mobile network access, to be built in along with a fingerprint access device.

If, for any reason the fingerprint fails to authenticate (I.E. not an authorised user), the laptop can upload the fingerprint image to an escrow, and kept confidentially and securely, only to be released to the police for investigation should your laptop be reported stolen.

I hypothesise that most youths/hoodies/muggers who steal laptop are already known to the police, and in the UK at least, will have their fingerprints held on a computer searchable database. If they try to access the laptop they will straight away give the police evidence, and a lead, to catch and convict them - along with any other handlers along the way.

As far as privacy is concerned, stick a label on there to notify people what will happen. (your fingerprints will be uploaded blah blah blah) Someone will still try it anyway - sooner or later.

Maybe this could be incorporated with a low-cost GPS device, for tracking, but I'm sure that's already been discussed ;)

ElTel, May 12 2006


       How about if a fingerprint is not identified then the laptop would slice off the culprits fingerprints with a high intensity laser whilst simultaneously letting off a loud alarm. The thief would run off, bleeding and someone would hear the laptop and hey presto! you would get your computer back and a little souvenir of its temporary owner.
wongmeister, May 12 2006

       I like that, Wongmeister
ElTel, May 12 2006

       [+] Nice one.   

       [wongmeister] God help the guy who forgets his own password!
kuupuuluu, May 12 2006

       The cellular device may have to negotiate firewalls...   

       "Hey Larry, this laptop's always trying to access the Internet via some 3G link. Whassat mean?"
Jinbish, May 12 2006

       Great Idea.
Galbinus_Caeli, May 12 2006

       \\ I don't think that's an issue. Obtaining prints from a stolen item (by physical or electronic means) is a fair way to obtain evidence. \\ That presupposes that a theft has taken place. There are dozens of reasons why you might use a laptop without authorisation (using a friend's one and forgetting about authorisation processes is an easy example). I do like the idea of not reporting it to the police.   

       [wongmeister], how will this person get their laptop back? I'm sure as hell not going to touch it.
hidden truths, May 12 2006

       The escrow is a safeguard for biometric data privacy and security, perhaps coupled with a condition that data is to be deleted after a predetermined period of time, say 2 weeks.   

       This data would only be released in the event of a laptop theft, to the Police, and only at the request of the laptop owner.   

       Unsuccesful login attempts would be timestamped, and therefore any login attempted after the time of the theft would be identifiable as that of the perpetrator, or associates (or dave down the pub who just bought a cheap, hot laptop)   

       At the end of the day, it gives police that many more leads to go on, even if the quality/method of obtaining evidence could be picked apart in court.   

       Lastly, maybe it could be linked with a camera in the lid, to get a mug shot of burgler bill as well?
ElTel, May 12 2006

       Fantastic idea! A great deterrent!
ldischler, May 15 2006


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