Privacy Issues Surrounding Biometric Technology

The terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center have provoked in-depth discussion and study of existing security measures, their deficiencies, and how to enhance security to prevent similar terrorist attacks from occurring in the future. Biometric technology has risen to the top of the list as a possible solution. The government is not the only entity exploring biometric security systems. The financial services industry see biometrics as a way to curb identity theft. Biometrics are intrinsic physical characteristics used to identify individuals. The most commonly used biometric is fingerprints but others include, handprints, facial features, iris & retinal scans, and voice recognition.

Soon after 9/11 there were calls for the issuance of national ID cards containing biometric information on an RFID chip implanted on the card. The argument is that national ID cards will increase security by identifying individuals with their unique fingerprints which are much more difficult to counterfeit than standard photo ID cards. There is also a movement toward biometric passports. It looks like biometric passports are coming soon. National ID cards may follow.

Biometric identification is nothing new. Humans have been identifying other humans biometrically since the beginning of time. You recognize people you know by their facial features, their voice, and other biometric features. What’s new is introducing technology into the mix that compares a given biometric with a stored database of biometrics to verify the identity of an individual. An individual place their finger on a fingerprint scanner and the image is compared with the database to verify the person’s identity. Promising as it is, biometric technology has not been without hiccups but biometrics are advancing quickly and becoming more and more prevalent in security systems.

Fingerprints are the most commonly used biometric identifiers. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) conducted a study that showed single fingerprint biometric systems had a 98.6 percent accuracy rate. The accuracy rate rose to 99.6 percent when 2 fingerprints were used and an almost perfect 99.9 percent when 4 or more fingerprints were used. The study results show that biometric identification is nearly perfect which is not surprising given the uniqueness of human fingerprints.

The US-VISIT program, which is an acronym for United States Visitor & Immigrant Status Indicator Technology, currently requires foreign visitors to the US to present a biometric passport containing 2 fingerprints and a digital photo for identification purposes before being granted admission to the U.S. Of course the biometrics are compared against a vast network of government databases full of known and suspected terrorists and other criminals.

On the surface biometric technology may sound like a panacea but it’s use has raised significant privacy concerns that need to be addressed. Here are six major privacy concerns: storage, vulnerability, confidence, authenticity, linking, and ubiquity.

Critics wonder how the data will be stored and how vulnerable it will be to theft or abuse. Confidence issues center around the implications of false positives and false negatives. Can the biometric data be used to link to other information about the individual such as marital status, religion, employment status, etc.? And finally ubiquity. What are the implications of leaving electronic “bread crumbs” to mark a trail detailing every movement an individual makes?

Until these issues are addressed, privacy advocates will lead a charge to resist biometric technology claiming it as a way for the government to assume a “Big Brother” type of rule as described in George Orwell’s novel 1984. But protest as they may, it’s likely national security concerns and the ability of biometric systems to enhance the security of US border and possibly prevent another major terrorist attack will win out over privacy concerns.

Video Marketing For Traffic – Branding Your Videos, Your Business and Yourself

Ever heard of YouTube? Yeah, I thought so! Nearby, in January 2008 79 million users made over 3 billion video views (That's over 100 million views per day!) How would you like a slice of that kind of audience?

Video really has become popular on the web recently and it's easy to see why. It's unparallel by any other medium in terms of getting your message across. The problem with video online is that it has always been expensive to produce and host, requiring specialist equipment, expensive software, and massive bandwidth. Not any more because, since you can produce a screen capture video at zero cost (using Camstudio or similar software), and not only host it for free on YouTube, but also use it as a source of traffic!

You can not embed links in video on YouTube. What you can do however is put a link in the video description, create a profile or 'channel' with a link to your site, and brand your video with your domain.

Publishing and branding your videos

To get started, head over to YouTube.com and sign up for a free account. Your channel is automatically created for you based on your username (ie [http://www.youtube.com/username]) and once created you can customize it.

On your channel select 'Personal Profile' and there is a space to add your website URL. While you're there, fill out the rest of the profile too and upload a photo. Remember, YouTube is a social media site so you want to brand yourself, not just your business or products!

When you come to upload a video, use SEO practices. Remember that people will find your videos by searching, just like on Google, so use relevant keywords for your title, tags, and in your description. Also, your description can include a link to your site so long as you remember to include the http: // part! If you use a full URL the link will appear on the video page without the user having to click the 'more info' button!

While links in the description and on your profile are great, it's your video that people's attention will be on so get the URL in there! Start and end the video on a 'splash screen' with the video title and your domain clearly visible. You can also, depending on the nature and content of the video, use an overlay which shows your branding through the video!

While YouTube is far and away the king of online video, it's by no means the only site you can publish to. MetaCafe, HowCast and Blip.tv are just a few of the sites I use, but uploading to each of them takes time and effort. Do not worry though, help is at hand with a tool called TubeMogul.com

TubeMogul allows you to upload to all of these sites and more in one go, and even tracks all your views for you in one easy to use control panel. I recommend uploading to YouTube manually (so you get more control and can set the description etc. specifically for YouTube) and then use TubeMogul to upload to any other sites relevant to your niche. You can still use TubeMogul to track your YouTube views though!

Video on your own site

If you're creating video for a membership site, or a product then you will have to host it yourself to keep it private and secure. However, any videos that you're giving away are free to your visitors can also be hosted on YouTube. Just upload as normal, head to the video page and on the right hand side you'll see a box called EMBED with some HTML code (starts with

Maternity Clothes – Buying Maternity Clothes Online

Here is a sampling of the best maternity shops online. You'll unduly find one or several that match your budget and style! Remember to feel good it helps to look good, so why not indulge in a maternity outfit or two?

BabyStyle

http://www.babystyle.com

In this store you'll find maternity fashions at reasonable prices, with free shipping on large orders! Babystyle also offers a selection of what they call 'transition' maternity wear … clothes you can wear after the baby comes but before you are ready to fit back into your pre-pregnancy clothing!

Motherhood

http://www.motherhood.com

This is another great maternity stop for moms looking for well-priced maternity clothes for all seasons. Motherhood contains a comprehensive selection of maternity wear and nursing items for moms young and old alike.

Bella Blu

http://www.bellablumaternity.com

Designer maternity fashions for the fashion conscious mother. If you are looking for something hip and stylish, check here first!

Mom's Maternity

[http://www.momsmaternity.com]

This store features maternity clothes, lingerie and more for tall, petite and plus sized women.

A Pea in the Pod

http://www.apeainthepod.com

Slightly more expensive maternity clothes and accessories. Considered one of the more popular maternity outlets.

Mimi Maternity

[http://www.mimmaternity.com]

Fashionable maternity clothing for hip mothers everywhere.

Maternity Mall

http://www.maternitymall.com

Features maternity fashions from a variety of top label and designer maternity fashion providers.

Do not forget many traditional retailers also offer a wide selection of exceptional maternity wear and clothing. The stores listed below carry traditional and maternity clothes for fashion and budget conscious moms. Here are some other places you should consider when shopping for maternity wear:

Target – http://www.target.com

Old Navy – http://www.oldnavy.com

Gap – http://www.gap.com

If you are really looking to save dollars, you should consider buying second hand maternity wear online. E-bay is one of the world's largest online auction houses, and here you'll find literally thousands of choices when it comes to maternity wear. Most sellers will post pictures of the assorted clothing they have for sale, and very often you will find designer maternity items at a fraction of the cost a retailer would sell them for.

What to Buy?
Are you wondering what your maternity ward should contain? Although women have varying preferences and styles, there are a few items that every woman should have in her maternity wear closet. Among these include:

– Jeans

– Pair of black or khaki slacks

– One skirt or dress

– Variety of Maternity T's and Tops

– Maternity Bra

You may or may not have to buy maternity underwear. While some women find the support in these comforting, others find that traditional bikini underwear purchased a size or two larger than normal work just as well, and are less expensive and come in more colors and styles.

You will find that your breasts are growing through your pregnancy. A good maternity bra is recommended. You should buy a bra that allows a little room for expansion however, as your breasts will likely inflate even more when they fill with milk close to delivery.

Remember that as a pregnant woman you deserve to look and feel your best. Don 't hesitate for a moment to pamper yourself and purchase a few items that will not only help you look great, but will help you feel great during your pregnancy.

Facebook Holiday Marketing Tips

Holiday shopping is right around the corner. And where do people like to talk about their consumer conquests? On Facebook, of course! With more than a billion users, Facebook is definitely going to be abuzz with the talk of shopping for friends and family.

Year after year, more consumers are turning to online shopping in order to avoid the crush of so many others at brick and mortar stores. If you have a business that sells a lot of products online, then you certainly need to have a good Facebook holiday marketing strategy. Even if your main focus is on in-store sales, a good social media plan can help boost traffic to your business.

Here are some tips that will help you with a strong holiday marketing plan on Facebook:

Show your holiday spirit

No one wants to see a constant stream of product plugging in their News Feed during this time of year. Use your time to increase the holiday spirit among your followers.

Post holiday-themed trivia. Make a top ten list of the best holiday movies. Offer tips for decorating the home or how to make the best hot chocolate. Another great idea is to ask followers to submit their favorite holiday photos to include in a Facebook album.

Hold special contests and sweepstakes

This is certainly the time of year when people appreciate a good contest. Contests are an excellent way for businesses to boost engagement and broaden their reach. It is also helpful in collecting more email addresses for your list to use all year.

There are several third-party apps that make it easy to set up a Facebook contest.

Be sure to offer something that is both desirable and related to your business. It might be awesome to give away a new iPad, but you are more likely to end up with short-term followers than people interested in you for the long-term.

Give valuable coupons

Another thing that people love during the holidays is to save money. Use Facebook coupons as a way to get more people excited to shop with you.

Coupons are a great way to increase customer loyalty. Having them on Facebook also makes them easy to share, so you can see an increase in your followers quickly.

A good coupon can be anything from a great BOGO offer to free shipping.

Focus more on mobile

A large percentage of social media users access their sites through a mobile device. That is why it is so important to make sure that every marketing campaign that you create works just as well when it is mobile.

Include eye-catching images, videos, and short text in your posts. Be sure to check the mobile news feed option when you pay for Facebook ads. Always insert a good call-to-action.

Speaking of calls-to-action, Facebook is now offering marketers a unique call-to-action button for ads, such as a "Shop Now" button.

Open a pop-up shop

During the holidays, it might be worthwhile for your business to create a temporary pop-up shop. This is good for new products that you are promoting or even just a listing of your top selling items.

Give them more

When people order from you at this time of year, it is always a good idea to give them a little something extra. This could be a coupon for a future purchase, a free item, or even a simple thank you note.

Small gestures like these will leave the customer with a positive impression. They could then post about their positive experience with you on their own Facebook page for their friends and family to see.

The right Facebook holiday marketing strategy is the gift that keeps on giving. When you do it well, you will create lasting relationships with your customers that extend well past the holiday season.

Are you ready for social media holiday marketing?