Biometric ticketing is one of several innovations identified by the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) in its digital blueprint for Britain’s railway.
The blueprint, which has been published on the same day as the RDG annual conference, suggests that Bluetooth and biometric ticketing could eventually replace the magnetic strip tickets that have been around since the 1980s.
RDG pointed to the development of a mobile app that uses Bluetooth to automatically open ticket barrier gates. This technology is being trialled by Chiltern Railways between Oxford Parkway and London Marylebone this year.
A further development of ticketing technology could see biometric systems, which use fingerprints and eye scanning, implemented.
Read more on Global Rail News.
“Could see?” What if passengers don’t want to have to give up their biometric data just to take a train? And what security and privacy would be in place? For how long would data be stored? With whom could it be shared?
Look, if people want to speed up processing and are happy using their fingerprints or iris scans to do so, let them – after they’re fully informed of the potential consequences down the tracks. But just imposing this makes the rail system part of a national surveillance system, which is a horrible idea.
(And yes, Joe Cadillic agrees this is awful. He’s the one who sent me this link.)