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FBI's New Eye Scan Database Raising Eyebrows

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the trust-us-we're-from-the-government dept.

Privacy 229

mattnyc99 writes "The FBI has confirmed to Popular Mechanics that it's not only adding palm prints to its criminal records, but preparing to balloon its repository of photos, which an agency official says 'could be the basis for our facial recognition.' It's all part of a new biometric software system that could store millions of iris scans within 10 years and has privacy advocates crying foul. Quoting: 'The FBI's Next Generation Identification (NGI) system, which could cost as much as $1 billion over its 10-year life cycle, will create an unprecedented database of biometric markers, such as facial images and iris scans. For criminal investigators, NGI could be as useful as DNA some day — a distinctive scar or a lopsided jaw line could mean the difference between a cold case and closed one. And for privacy watchdogs, it's a dual threat — seen as a step toward a police state, and a gold mine of personal data waiting to be plundered by cybercriminals.'"

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229 comments

Blah (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24003293)

The DMV and the US government already have my picture (passport). Why should I give a shit if the FBI has it or has access to it?

Re:Blah (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24003855)

Because they're the ones with the badges and guns and the ability to detain you without trial and make you disappear?

Just saying.

Re:Blah (4, Informative)

pilgrim23 (716938) | more than 5 years ago | (#24004127)

BBC did a documentary on biometrics a year or so back. Iris ID has been used in Dubai for soem time it said. Also it pointed out that a way to defeat this is any drug that dialates the pupils. So; smoke a bong and smile ;)

too many movies (5, Interesting)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 5 years ago | (#24003331)

I think someone's been watching too many movies. Aren't modern day iris scanners bad for your eyes. Sending crazy bright light directly into a person's eye will obviously damage it if it's done enough times. So all that logging in every day at the government's secret lab stuff is pure science fiction. I think personally doing an iris scan once can destroy enough rods or whatever to make people complain. They shouldn't be using this system and expecting people to be scanned whenever they want them to be.

Re:too many movies (5, Informative)

26199 (577806) | more than 5 years ago | (#24003435)

You seem to be talking about retinal scanners -- iris recognition is considerably less intrusive. I don't know about retinal scans being harmful, but I'm quite sure iris recognition isn't.

(At least, in the superficial physical sense).

Re:too many movies Which threat is worse? (1, Funny)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 5 years ago | (#24003537)

Retinal, Iris, or Iro-Recto?

IIRC, there is a hidden part of the body having its OWN type of "fingerprint". An Oculo-Anulo scan, like in a pair of calipers, would give quite a .... measure of one's eye-dent-tity...

Re:too many movies (4, Informative)

gnick (1211984) | more than 5 years ago | (#24004323)

You're correct. Iris scans, as opposed to retinal scans, can be done quickly using only ambient lighting. And, with decent optics, they can be done at surprising distances. The only real limitation is the atmospheric effects you get from small air currents, thermals, etc. And, on a calm, cool day, those don't become an issue for a good way off.

Re:too many movies (2, Informative)

Repossessed (1117929) | more than 5 years ago | (#24005007)

Retina scanning is also fairly useless for ID, the retina changes over time, as bits of it die and regrow.

Re:too many movies (1)

Bender0x7D1 (536254) | more than 5 years ago | (#24003491)

Aren't modern day iris scanners bad for your eyes. Sending crazy bright light directly into a person's eye will obviously damage it if it's done enough times.

It won't be any worse than staring at a computer monitor all day. Or going outside when the sun is shining. I've been doing both for decades and my eyes are still fine.

'Duel' threat? (4, Funny)

mfnickster (182520) | more than 5 years ago | (#24003333)

> And for privacy watchdogs, it's a duel threat

I guess they really threw down the gauntlet, huh?

Now which weapon should I choose... rapier and/or dagger?

Re:'Duel' threat? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24003409)

Curses, foil'd again!

Re:'Duel' threat? (2, Insightful)

magarity (164372) | more than 5 years ago | (#24003457)

Now which weapon should I choose... rapier and/or dagger?
 
Ballot box

Re:'Duel' threat? (2, Insightful)

camperdave (969942) | more than 5 years ago | (#24004947)

Now which weapon should I choose... rapier and/or dagger?

Ballot box

I wasn't aware that you could vote for (or against) the FBI. But then, I'm not an American and there's much about your political system that I don't understand.

Re:'Duel' threat? "Duel Airbags" (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 5 years ago | (#24003479)

Reminds me of the Stevens Creek Acura (or, ahem, Acura of Stevens Creek, in SillyConJobAlley) advert/coupon I received in 1992-1993. Just a cursory scan of it lead my eye(s) to:

"Duel Airbags"... I thought, "That could be worse than getting into a collision/wreck..."

I think I STILL have that coupon somewhere...

What is this, the nineteenth century? (0, Redundant)

amliebsch (724858) | more than 5 years ago | (#24003345)

A duel threat for privacy advocates! Pistols at ten paces for ye all!

Gotcha! (-1, Redundant)

KC7GR (473279) | more than 5 years ago | (#24003389)

"And for privacy watchdogs, it's a duel threat..."

Yes, the Feds seem to be going out of their way to challenge anyone who cares about privacy to a duel.

And we all know what the weapons of choice will be, of course... 2D barcode scanners at ten paces, with RFID chip readers as backup, and NO TINFOIL ALLOWED!

Keep the peace(es).

I'm ALL FOR IT.. if... it kills the Customs/Border (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 5 years ago | (#24003397)

Patrol power to seize and conduct invasive searches of personal electronics. This could be used to:

-- tie in to those with NO criminal history (expunged records or not),

-- facilitate with a passing of the "trusted flyer" types of background checks

-- clear or continue to clear travelers (especially domestic travelers returning to the wretched "no mans land" areas through Customs

-- databank ALL federal law enforcement and borders personnel and tie them to every case (except, maybe "deep cover" operations, as far as trials and hearings go, but can also be used to exonerate CERTAIN deep cover operatives who are only killing of bad guys in the course of their operations) of seized property, so that compromised privacy and business and entrepreneurial losses and damages and legal costs can be charged directly back to Border Patrol AND to the directors as well as the personnel making a decision to seize and search electronics beyond the cursory wipe pad and X-Ray/T-Ray-types of scans.

The music and video IP losses are best handled electronically by sniffing the users and the sites hosting illegally-hosted content. Unless a person has been electronically tagged and followed locally or globally, Customs needs to be stripped of the charter of searching content that is electronic. Look at pictures, yes. Briefly peruse any readily-exposed items, yes. READ matter, NO! These days, too many privacy and marginalization issues abound, and it only takes ONE agent on the take to ruin the life or livelihood of a non-criminal.

Hopefully, the laptops of the porn-peddlers were actually targeted PRIOR to seizures because they were legitimate targets, not because of random searches. This *might* explain the lower-published numbers of seizures.

(NO, I haven't "thought of everything"; that's not possible...)

It will inevitably lead to mistakes. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24003453)

Once they get a DNA database everyone, you'll have to leave the house wearing gloves and protective clothing so you don't accidentally leave DNA on someone who happens to get murdered later.

ok, so what's next? (2, Insightful)

crashandburn66 (1290292) | more than 5 years ago | (#24003499)

The iris scans seem benign to me. I'm not entirely sure how they would scan the insides of your eyeballs without your consent, at least for now. What concerns me is the facial scans. I have a feeling that this is more than just pictures like on a passport. I'm thinking more along the lines of a virtual model of one's physical features, possibly built from various images into a kind of 3-D composite. There are a few problems with this. One is that you could be mistaken for someone else (obviously). Another is that this would only work with a very sophisticated camera surveillance system, or what would be the point? So this could mean that the government is planning to really step up their surveillance program. And of course they'll give us the same bullshit about fighting violent crime and terrorism, and people will eat it up. And then there will be cameras everywhere, like in China. That's what really scares me about this.

Re:ok, so what's next? (3, Funny)

techpawn (969834) | more than 5 years ago | (#24003587)

You know how we have Godwin's law about Nazi Germany? Does anyone know if there is one about Orwell? I mean, it's fitting, but we'd be hitting it a lot lately.

Re:ok, so what's next? (1, Interesting)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 5 years ago | (#24003825)

Would that be Godwin's Orwellian corollary?

"As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one."

As any discussion of the United States Government grows longer, the probability of a comparison to George Orwell's 1984 approaches one.

In the event that you can invoke both Godwin's Law and the Orwellian Corollary, you score double.

Adjunct to the Orwellian corollary: Any person correctly citing the corollary within earshot of said 1984-ish government will likely be able to use it only once.

Shhhhh heir big brother is listening.

Oh hey (3, Insightful)

kjzk (1097265) | more than 5 years ago | (#24003517)

The U.S. government and Popular Mechanics have been in bed together for quite some time now. Remember the desperate and failed attempt to debunk 9/11 conspiracy theories in one of their issues? It only generated more suspicion and exposed their tight relationship. This leaves me to believe that Popular Mechanics is probably glorifying this Police State tactic.

Popular Mechanics is garbage. It's for people who want to pretend to be smart.

Re:Oh hey (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24004735)

Which conspiracy theory did PM try to debunk and fail? Seems to me that everything they called BS was indeed horse shit.

Yes, where is this technology outsourced from?... (3, Interesting)

ckuttruff (1315571) | more than 5 years ago | (#24003549)

Anybody notice the mention of Lockheed Martin in the original article?

Really? Is more outsourcing of sensitive government tasks the way to go? Have we learned nothing from experience...

This is stuff Vegas has been doing for years! (1)

Enlarged to Show Tex (911413) | more than 5 years ago | (#24004485)

There's an investigative agency called Griffin Inc. that's been providing biometrics and other identification technology to the casinos around the country for years. Although originally designed to identify known cheats engaged in illegal activities, Griffin also has a tendency to try to paint those engaged in legal (but frowned upon) advantage gaming behavior with the same broad strokes.

I suspect that .gov will probably end up doing similar sorts of things with their own biometric database...

Re:Yes, where is this technology outsourced from?. (4, Insightful)

gnick (1211984) | more than 5 years ago | (#24004497)

Anybody notice the mention of Lockheed Martin in the original article?

Really? Is more outsourcing of sensitive government tasks the way to go? Have we learned nothing from experience...

The federal government outsources just about all of their sensitive science and engineering. Sandia National Lab [sandia.gov] is run by Lockheed Martin. LANL [lanl.gov] and LLNL [llnl.gov] are also run by contractors. Nothing new.

they shouldn't raise eyebrows (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#24003589)

part of the effectiveness of this technology involves expressionless faces. if you raise your eyebrows in an artifical wide eyed glare, the database can't effectively match you against...

wait, what do they mean by raised eyebrows?

test subjects (4, Insightful)

jhines (82154) | more than 5 years ago | (#24003591)

They should use the politicians that control the agency, and the upper level bosses in the agency, as the first test subjects. Not that they have anything to hide, but I'm guessing they wouldn't like it in this case.

Avoiding the eye doctor (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24003621)

Since most Doctors already send out patient records, billing and everything to the Medical Information Bureau, it looks to me like this stuff is already available.

I went in to my Eye Doctor's recently, and everything was computerized and automated. Including taking a picture of the retina, which popped up on a computer screen to be viewed.

The trouble is, there really are no laws designating control over this at the backend (I'm aware of HIPPA, and it's a joke IMO). Which is exactly what the secretive MIB likes, and strives to keep things this way.

So, if you think this database doesn't exist already, you are kidding yourself. It's just a question of when the FBI will fully obtain it.

Re:Avoiding the eye doctor (1)

KGIII (973947) | more than 5 years ago | (#24004101)

It's just a question of when the FBI will fully obtain it.

I respectfully disagree. The FBI already has it, surely. It is a question of when they'll be able to use it openly. (Or so I think. My disagreement is not based on anything factual, just probabilities, and they're not exactly cooperative in sharing that information with the likes of me.)

I see where this is going... (4, Funny)

Aphoxema (1088507) | more than 5 years ago | (#24003625)

Well, what about the people with no eyeballs? OR HANDS?! OR FACES!? OR EVEN DNA?! You think criminals are dangerous, it's the criminal zombies you have to be really afraid of! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Oh hey (1)

kjzk (1097265) | more than 5 years ago | (#24003697)

If ya'll don't gots nothin' ta hide den let us shine dem lazurs in yo eyes boy. Can't let dem terrorists win, stop hatin' America!

They never would have caught me... (5, Funny)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 5 years ago | (#24003703)

if I hadn't left an image of my retina at the crime scene!

Re:They never would have caught me... (1)

ROMRIX (912502) | more than 5 years ago | (#24004491)

if I hadn't left an image of my retina at the crime scene!


Silly Citizen!
They're not after the image of your retina from the crime scene.
It's the image of the crime scene from your retina they're after.

Only criminals... (1)

Digestromath (1190577) | more than 5 years ago | (#24004519)

In this dark future only criminals will wear sunglasses, becuase if you have nothing to fear you have nothing to hide. Sunglasses will become the equivalent of the belaclava, a clear signal that your about break the law.

Somewhere in here there is a Corey Heart joke

Hold up (4, Interesting)

BlowHole666 (1152399) | more than 5 years ago | (#24003719)

Why do they need our Eye Scan Data? I do not leave my iris information at a crime scene. I do however leave my DNA and fingerprints. So what happens when the FBI DB gets hacked and some serial killer changes his Eye Scan with mine. The FBI has no way of knowing who is who. I know some of you may say that the FBI will also have pictures of me and witnesses etc. but it use to be that DNA was not trusted very much and now a person can be put away on DNA evidence alone, so it is all too soon till a person can be put a way or arrested just because their eye scan says they are someone they are not.

Re:Hold up (4, Insightful)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 5 years ago | (#24004081)

Nevermind someone hacking the FBI DB - what if some data entry monkey just screws up their data entry?

"And now, entering data for serial killer John Doe, III" while having the record open for Jon Do, II. How will this be changed? Updated?

I have a trivial mistake in my passport file (they have the wrong passport labeled as lost), and it is costing me 2 hours at immigration every time I fly. I have checked, and it is not possible to correct it. I fear to think what would happen with a more serious mistake. I'm pretty sure there'd be a lengthy trial involved, if not outright conviction and lengthy appeal.

Re:Hold up (1)

ruin20 (1242396) | more than 5 years ago | (#24004317)

In my opinion this helps solve that problem. Having multiple forms of high confidence identification systems would mean that a serious error in one can be debunked by another system. This would definitely help prevent cases of mistaken identity due to database corruption and make it more difficult for the database to be hacked.

Re:Hold up (1)

BlowHole666 (1152399) | more than 5 years ago | (#24004479)

This is the government...they will probably store all the information in the same table. It will prob say John Doe, DNA Code, Eye Data, Face Data, Address, Shoe Size, Penis Size, STDs. So it will be easy to fix. Also trying to prove one is wrong in a criminal trial is going to be hard. The jury is going to hear the words "Eye Scans do not lie" and convict no matter what. Also proving one of the forms of ID is wrong is only good if you have the other forms to prove your innocent. If you only have one you are SOL.

Re:Hold up (1)

ruin20 (1242396) | more than 5 years ago | (#24004927)

This is a criminal database, so the database contains all the information that they are required to take at the time you're convicted. So just having one is proof enough of tampering. Plus in order to be in the database, you'd have to have committed a crime in the past. If you hadn't you wouldn't be in the database, so you'd have to have a corresponding criminal record.

And trying to prove one is wrong in a criminal trial is not hard. If your DNA profile doesn't match but your retina scan does, your not arguing that the technique lied, but that the database is corrupt and can't be trusted. And as you pointed out before, eye scan data isn't any good as you don't leave it at the crime scene. It's a form of identification. Most of the time "this person isn't john doe but really jack doe" doesn't come up at trial. Besides, if this is really tin hat validating, then uncle sam would see that your retina scan matched two entries.

as for single database, ok, sure, but that doesn't mean that there wouldn't be a ton of other locations that doesn't also have that data. DMV, the original court branch prosecuted you, the original prison you went to, etc.. would all have your records, including physicals, fingerprints, pictures, the works.

I'm not for this system, I think it's stupid (see my other post in this forum) but I think it should be decided on it's merits. Not just used as an excuse for tin hat fear mongering.

Next Up: Dental Records (1)

kiehlster (844523) | more than 5 years ago | (#24003741)

You know, they identify crispy corpses using dental records somewhat accurately. Only the craziest of criminals (see The Whole Nine Yards [imdb.com]) would do something like replacing teeth or removing teeth. How hard would it be to implement dental authentication? In addition, I believe teeth are one thing that even genetically similar people differ on because environmental factors affect their development.

Re:Next Up: Dental Records (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24004295)

You know, they identify crispy corpses using dental records somewhat accurately.

But if they don't know who you are, how the hell do they know who your dentist is?

And? (3, Insightful)

thermian (1267986) | more than 5 years ago | (#24003797)

Technology has been moving this way for decades. There is even an argument that it's been moving this way for centuries.

And so what? How much is this really going to effect us? Really? As things stand we have all our information stored by banks, hospitals, employers, and social networks. This is a natural progression.
Anyone who thinks governments wouldn't do this obviously didn't pay attention at school. They've been doing this since they came into existence.

This isn't going to result in a police state. Whats going on in Zimbabwe leads to a police state, not what we have here. All this is is a centralisation of information.

As for me, I don't care whether they want this info or not. And as for the cybercriminal thing, you believe your bank/hospital/employer is any safer? Seriously?

If this move would damn us, we've already been damned for some time.

Next up, world doesn't end when this happens.

Re:And? (2, Insightful)

mpthompson (457482) | more than 5 years ago | (#24004233)

This isn't going to result in a police state. Whats going on in Zimbabwe leads to a police state, not what we have here.

I agree. The concern over this seems to be making a mountain out of a molehill. Having an iris or other biometric profile for criminals is no more invasive than having images of tattoos or mug shots in a computer database. It is simply the progression of technology.

For people who have no criminal convictions, I think there are legitimate concerns and that their biometric information should be kept out of such a database. It is important that there be an open mechanism so that people with privacy concerns can request their biometric records be purged if there is no legitimate reason for the government to have them. But if you are a convicted felon, too bad. Your biometric information is kept on record to facilitate future investigations.

Stop acting like this isn't a problem. (2, Insightful)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 5 years ago | (#24004669)

As things stand we have all our information stored by banks, hospitals, employers, and social networks. This is a natural progression.

And this is ok on the face of it, but NOT the way these companies are being allowed to abuse it. Just because the abuse is ubiquitous doesn't mean it's ok.. that's like going back to the 1850's and arguing "slavery is the result of natural progression".

And so what? How much is this really going to effect us? Really?


Oh it doesn't hurt you at all as long as you're a conformist lemming who "has nothing to fear because he's done nothing 'wrong' ... " It doesn't have to be the government directly involved in the oppression, either. The dixie chicks happens on the micro level every day when the personnel manager is a bush-ite scumbag.

as for other effects
How about shortening people's lives with nagging telemarketing or killing wide swaths of the rainforest? I receive more useless paper in the form of junk mail each week from companies who buy this abusively shared information than I have ever used in a given year as a double major.

Re:And? (3, Interesting)

imipak (254310) | more than 5 years ago | (#24004733)

Actually it's the other way round. A police state leads to centralised databases on guilty and innocent alike, not vice versa. Ask my sister-in-law (who grew up in the then DDR) or girlfriend (Brezhnev's USSR and Tito (and then Milosevic's) Yugoslavia.)

Hmmmm.

several things (2, Insightful)

Humorless Coward. (862619) | more than 5 years ago | (#24003939)

Yeah, the iris ID thing is ludicrous, if you think about it from the idea that
they'd use it to identify you as having been at the scene of a crime.

No, I believe that government has no legitimate right or responsibility to track
the physiological details of its citizens.

It's not a matter of falsely accusing an innocent person. It's a matter of using
the information for political purposes, or harassment of an innocent person.

The government of the US has proven it won't even comply with espionage laws
involving protection of informants. The government of the US has proven it
can't protect its citizens from criminal or negligent data loss by its own
employees.

I'm supposed to trust these clowns not to fabricate false allegations against
people, and use physical data to ensure persecution?

No.

Alternatives (3, Interesting)

boatboy (549643) | more than 5 years ago | (#24003949)

OK /.ers, if you're opposed to this, let's hear the alternatives. Describe a system that allows quickly tracking down criminals but protects personal privacy.

Re:Alternatives (2, Insightful)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 5 years ago | (#24004163)

There isn't. The system that allows you to instantly track criminals is the one that allows you to instantly track everybody. This is the definition of a police state.

You know, I like some inefficiencies in my government. It makes sure that some dimwit who can't get a regular job doesn't get a Napoleon complex and institutes some harebrained regulation.

Yes, it means some crimes go unsolved. I prefer that to some stupid crimes being solved.

Re:Alternatives (1)

mpthompson (457482) | more than 5 years ago | (#24004437)

The system that allows you to instantly track criminals is the one that allows you to instantly track everybody.

I don't see anything there that says the proposed system allows the instant tracking of criminals or by extension, everybody. This is simply making more information available to law enforcement to more narrowly define the list of potential suspects from information that may be gathered from a crime scene (i.e. closed circuit TV images and such).

Yes, it means some crimes go unsolved. I prefer that to some stupid crimes being solved.

A very small percentage of bad apples in our society spoil a lot of things for the rest of us. I'm all for using technology that makes it easier to identify the bad apples from the rest of us that just want to live our lives peacefully. The better the tools law enforcement has, the better for all of us.

Re:Alternatives (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#24004799)

A very small percentage of bad apples in our society spoil a lot of things for the rest of us. I'm all for using technology that makes it easier to identify the bad apples from the rest of us that just want to live our lives peacefully.

And a much larger percentage of people engage in victim-less crimes like pot-smoking that don't spoil anything for the rest of us and they still find themselves on the wrong end of the criminal justice system. The Government still uses every single resource that it has to track them down and prosecute them. Meanwhile it doesn't use the resources it already has to prevent more serious crimes, like terrorism, yet it always wants more power and more resources?

You'll forgive me if I'm not leaping at the prospect of giving law enforcement "more tools" when they use the ones they already have to go after people who aren't harming me while failing to catch those that seek to harm us.

Re:Alternatives (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 5 years ago | (#24004857)

since when have security cameras had that kind of resolution, and why do we need iris recognition when cameras pick up the rest of the body perfectly well?

the only thing I see this being used for is to further nag you with ads and to track you and persecute you should your actions ever pose a threat to the political agendas of the wealthy who own the cameras.

A very small percentage of bad apples in our society spoil a lot of things for the rest of us. I'm all for using technology that makes it easier to identify the bad apples from the rest of us that just want to live our lives peacefully. The better the tools law enforcement has, the better for all of us.

Then you need to go to the people's republic of china, where they jail the one innocent man rather than let 1000 criminals go free. Our forefathers thought the opposite was more important.

Re:Alternatives (1)

Luke_22 (1296823) | more than 5 years ago | (#24004639)

Yes, it means some crimes go unsolved. I prefer that to some stupid crimes being solved.

yeah. a good quote (don't remember who said it, sry), was something like:
copyright laws are tolerated just because they don't get applied to everybody, everywhere and always.

i think the same concept can be ported to laws, at the end...

Re:Alternatives (1)

boatboy (549643) | more than 5 years ago | (#24004841)

Who gets to pick which crimes are stupid and don't deserve being solved? Seems a little callous to me. As I pointed out to the other guy, though, what's really stupid is that the same agency catches flack for being too slow and inefficient- at least in the political sphere from the exact same people.

Re:Alternatives (1, Insightful)

Humorless Coward. (862619) | more than 5 years ago | (#24004267)

OK /.ers, if you're opposed to this, let's hear the alternatives. Describe a system that allows quickly tracking down criminals but protects personal privacy.



The current one.

Although it's alleged it doesn't sufficiently protect personal privacy.

Oh? Did you mean one that would allow tracking down criminals more quickly than the current one?

There's no reason to do so. You don't fight crime by catching criminals. You don't fight crime by deterrence. You fight crime by removing the incentive.

Declaring wars on intangible concepts is stupid.

Re:Alternatives (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24004711)

> You don't fight crime by catching criminals. You don't fight crime by deterrence. You fight crime by removing the incentive.

No, you don't - you fight crime by putting on a cape, a mask, and a pair of tights, and leaping from rooftop to rooftop with a bunch of home-made gadgets!

At least that's how we do it here in Gotham, buster.

Re:Alternatives (1)

boatboy (549643) | more than 5 years ago | (#24004723)

You don't fight crime by catching criminals. You don't fight crime by deterrence. You fight crime by removing the incentive.

Interesting concept. Describe "removing the incentive" to, say, fight the crime of child abduction. Taken to it's logical conclusion, we should also quit investigating kidnapping, and instead "remove the incentive" for people to kidnap in the first place?

Of course, I should assume you didn't mean that literally - in some cases deterrence is needed, and in some cases deterring more quickly could save lives.

What's really funny though, is that some of the same complainers also say the current system is too slow and inefficient.

Re:Alternatives (1)

gnick (1211984) | more than 5 years ago | (#24004755)

You don't fight crime by catching criminals. You don't fight crime by deterrence. You fight crime by removing the incentive.

For some people, there will always be incentive to take things they haven't worked for. And incentive to murder occasionally. And incentive to rape. Etc.

I'm all for trying to prevent criminals from becoming criminals (white collar/blue collar/no collar/whatever). But deterrence and occasional separation from society are essential tools for maintaining a safe society.

Re:Alternatives (2, Insightful)

ruin20 (1242396) | more than 5 years ago | (#24004473)

A lot of the population doesn't believe we need increased efficiency in the tracking down criminals department. At least not the minimal amount that this system would provide. Since that need hasn't been identified, it's easy to say the cost isn't worth it. We don't need an alternative to this plan, because this plan is addressing a problem that doesn't need to be solved, tracking down repeat offenders IF they visit limited locations that have the capabilities provided in this system. Especially when the cost is allowing for Uncle Sam to get all the tools to build behavior profiles on anyone.

Re:Alternatives (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24004731)

It requires a tattoo on your wrist or forehead. Research indicates it will be very popular. The Obama campaign is considering requiring it as part of their Universal Health Care program.

Re:Alternatives (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24004737)

Normal police work.

Re:Alternatives (1)

imipak (254310) | more than 5 years ago | (#24004803)

Is that a mandatory requirement? I'd say we've got along pretty well so far without some automatic system that "allows quickly tracking down criminals". If you believe your requirement is mandatory then why not embed tracking chips in people's heads so that the FBI knows who's where, 24/7? That would give you a couple of nines in your clear-up rate.

Iris gives away too much information (1)

ageforce_ (719072) | more than 5 years ago | (#24003987)

Iris scans are a really bad idea. An iris gives away way too much information. In particular it allows to diagnose many illnesses:
[springerlink.com]

Re:Iris gives away too much information (1)

Copid (137416) | more than 5 years ago | (#24004411)

Iris scans are a really bad idea. An iris gives away way too much information. In particular it allows to diagnose many illnesses:

That's like saying that hand prints shouldn't be used because a palm reader can use it to figure out when you're going to die and who you're likely to marry.

But they still cant find Osama? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24004067)

But they still cant find Osama?

Please do Not (3, Insightful)

misterhypno (978442) | more than 5 years ago | (#24004175)

Look Into the Laser With Your REMAINING Eye.

The BIG problems with biometrics that rely on external facial features along with such things as facial bone structures is that they CAN be foxed rather easily by a good makeup artist as well as by plastic surgery.

Scars can be added - and removed - both by clever applications of makeup and/or plastic surgery. The set of a person's eyebrow ridge can similarly e altered (for the purpose of fooling scans) using either technology as well. So can the set of one's cheekbones, jawline or even the confirmation of the ears (another unique body feature, like the fingerprint).

Once again, the government goes down a path that is easily mucked up and that will produce highly questionable results.

Thanks again, Washington, for spending more of our money on eye scanners and less on things like flood control programs, bridge inspection teams and systems to keep our ports safe from maniacs who just might try to blow one of them higher than up!

Ghost town better than no Town? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24004361)

At least the history survives... ?

Two words to say. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24004483)

Minority Report.

I'm confused. (1)

blueforce (192332) | more than 5 years ago | (#24004533)

How did this get put in the "Developers" category? Seems more like a YRO item to me.

I'm just sayin'..

uh.... (1)

Luke_22 (1296823) | more than 5 years ago | (#24004535)

So...
let's say i don't want to be recognised...
I'd just need sunglasses/reflective lens?
...
What about coloured contact-lenses?

...Am I the only one to see this as a useless thing?
I mean... if auth is required, then this system is not needed. We already have id cards for that and much more.
So I suppose this will be deployed (if ever) in public places and things like that... but then, you can not force anyone not to wear sunglasses!
...well, i hope, at least...

Struck Down at the State Level in early 2000's? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24004537)

Virginia Supreme Court struck down use of a similar, if not identical, device maybe five years ago. They had it in place at the Roanoke County Jail (4 hours south of DC on I-81) to scan the visitors.

It'll be interesting to see how far this goes and how it gets challenged.

Most felons lose their rights, and when you're being prosecuted by the government (aka legal mafia), well... anything goes, neh?

Iris scans post-mortem? (1)

greyhueofdoubt (1159527) | more than 5 years ago | (#24004739)

I have a question for anyone involved in the field of biometrics or just human physiology-

Are iris scans (or retina scans) useful after a person has died? If they are, how long do they remain useful?

I would imagine that, being soft tissue, they would be the first ID technique to become useless, but I wonder exactly how long investigators would have.

-b

A step? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24005063)

On top of everything else this Administration has brought, a step just doesn't quite cover it.

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