Reasons why Nigerians should NOT Fingerprint for Bank account verification.

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Mike Tobi
IT specialist and an ethical hacker Living Abroad

 

It is insane for Nigeria Banks to ask Nigerians to verify bank accounts by fingerprinting, and worst of all to make it mandatory that people must fingerprint to access their bank accounts. It is just inconceivable that a group of Nigerias could just sign a contract with a foreign company to ask Nigerians to submit such sensitive information to them. It completely shows a lack of awareness of human right in Nigeria and zero-knowledge of what is really happening across the globe. There is nowhere in the world where such banking model is being used. It is a complete poor error of judgement by Nigeria leadership, and Nigeria urgently need to withdraw such contract and destroy the data already collected. It is a dead and bad policy and should never be used on Nigerian in the first instance. Some would argue that what about the fingerprinting at embassies when you apply for a visa in Nigeria. Well, the simple truth is that those countries don’t collect their citizens fingerprint when they apply for passport  because it is illegal to do so. Fingerprinting  for visa applications is mostly directed towards non-citizens. Fingerprint is a personal and unique thing to everyone, and it should only be collected in extreme cases, mainly  to solve crime, and destroyed after a certain period.

There are always policies for the safe guard of such information  when they are collected. Obviously many questions need to be asked. Who keep this data? Where is it kept? How secure are the servers? What duration are they kept for? Who destroy them and how will they be destroyed? I am sure none of those policies are in place. Nigeria is not advanced enough to embark on such a risky project.
Unlike password which can easily be changed, fingerprint cannot be changed, and many things can go wrong with fingerprints information. When hackers steal your fingerprints, they’ve got an unchangeable credential that lets them spoof your identity for life. In a world of increasingly cybercrime and masssive espionage by the west, such information will be extremely valuable to them. Having details of over 100 million Nigerian with a few clicks spell doom for Africa most populous nation. Such data can be accessed anywhere in the world if it falls on the wrong hands.

Various technology exist to do serious havoc online, and eventually someone will figure out a cheap and easy way for bad guys to steal your fingerprint from a bar glass and make a fake finger (one that appears to be alive) that can be used to unlock your bank account. Complicated or expensive methods for this already exist. It’s just a race towards convenience for the bad guys to develop a cheaper methods of stealing fingerprint information. Or, worse, an entire Nigeria Fingerprint database system might be hacked at the source.If your password is hacked or stolen, you set up new passwords. But if your fingerprint is hacked, what are you going to do, get a new finger?

 

Mike Tobi
IT specialist and an ethical hacker Living Abroad

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Eze Chucks is an experienced media practitioner. He has worked for several news organisation.He has pioneered many online news website as an editor . He holds a B.Sc Economics degree and a masters degree email:editor@compassnewspaper.com.ng