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Liberty, security, and biometrics. Eye scans, facial recognition systems. Police and more are using them. We’ll look at the stakes.
The next tool in the American police tool belt is a game changer.
A little bit of technology that plugs into an iPhone. It can capture an image of your face. It can scan the pattern of your eyeballs. It will remember forever. And it can track you anywhere.
It’s called the Mobile Offender Recognition and Information System.
Biometrics. American troops have used it all over Iraq and Afghanistan, to ID enemies.
Now it’s coming home. Facial recognition. Iris scans. Sounds like Minority Report. And it’s not just police. Facebook is in the game.
This hour On Point: the age of biometrics.
Julia Angwin, senior technology editor, Wall Street Journal
Daniel Castro, senior analyst at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation.
Orin Kerr, professor of law at the George Washington University Law School
From Tom's Reading List:
- The Boston Globe: "John H. Gass hadn’t had a traffic ticket in years, so the Natick resident was surprised this spring when he received a letter from the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles informing him to cease driving because his license had been revoked."
- The Wall Street Journal: "Dozens of law-enforcement agencies from Massachusetts to Arizona are preparing to outfit their forces with controversial hand-held facial-recognition devices as soon as September, raising significant questions about privacy and civil liberties."
- Wall Street Journal: "Police forces across the country are planning to start using new mobile technology later this year that can identify suspects and instantly reveal their criminal history based on a picture of their face or iris, the colored portion of an eye."
- Innovation Policy Blog: "This week has seen a flurry of articles on the Facebook Photo Tagging feature after the security firm Sophos posted a story on its blog noting that this feature, which had previously been limited to North American users, had now been extended to other regions."
Here's Douglas Rushkoff talking about the digital future.
Here's a commercial from a firm making biometrics scanner for police forces.
This program aired on July 20, 2011.
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