t first glance it seemed innocent enough - "World Check - Reducing Risk Through Intelligence".

Nothing sinister here, I thought.

After all, we'd all agree that risk is bad and therefore reducing that risk must be a good thing, right?

So, in that frame of mind, I looked around the World Check website and clicked on their Product Link to see how these guys have managed to "reduce the risk" that they so proudly claim in their company tagline.

I was also really curious to see what risk they were reffering to?

Well, after a little reading, it turns out, the risk that World Check is reffering to, is the risk of terrorism and the product that claims to reduce this risk is called 'Passport-Check'.

What 'Passport-Check' does, "is verify the authenticity of  machine-readable passports and identity documents."

What 'Passport-Check' also does, according to World-Check's own literature, is take the process of Identity Verification - one step further:

"...Would it not make sense to verify people's identities and at the same time cross-check them against the market-leading database of heightened risk individuals and entities? World-Check is the answer. Passport-Check is offered free of charge to all our Online subscribers - it has been embedded into World-Check's system so that when checking the authenticity of an ID-document, users are simultaneously running a search against World-Check's proprietary database. In a matter of seconds the results will show whether the ID-document is authentic and whether the passport holder is profiled in World-Check."

Honestly, when I read that, it literally sent a chill down my spine.

Database Profiling?

Has September 11 caused us to so completely overreact to the threat of terrorism that we've unknowingly created an environment that has spawned a new business industry sector for the categorizing of people?

And if this is indeed an unfortunate reality of our new global landscape, should privately-owned companies or corporations control the selling of that information?

Now I was really curious and honestly, kind of scared - Who the hell is "World Check" and more importantly who are their clients?