There are many theories on why Napoleon invented international identity papers. It is commonly stated by historians that he did so to better manage his “police state,” but these are primarily British historians. Personally, I believe he believed he needed them to control the Freemasons and other such societies from pre-revolutionary France. Regardless, it dawns on me that the universal adoption of this invention must have made life much more difficult for Immortals. In prior years, all they’d have had to do was move far enough away so that no one would recognize them, and remain away until no who could identify them was left alive. (True, they could move somewhere where identity papers were not yet used, but these would be less civilized and therefore more dangerous places.)
The invention of photography and fingerprinting would have complicated things immensely more. And today, with biometric screening on its way, their room to maneuver is practically gone.
If I had access to the NSA (or to one of the organizations that controls the NSA, such as the branch of the FDL codenamed “Majestic 12 “) I could use their technology to sift all the Immortals in the world. However, there may be other means available for a mere common citizen such as myself. If they ever get passports or drivers licenses, this would place their photos on record. What about running a comparative search of faces on public record? Stephen: Is there software good enough to automate that?– Glenn