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Dept. of Homeland Security To Test Iris Scanners

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the eye-for-an-eye dept.

Government 221

SonicSpike writes "The Homeland Security Department plans to test futuristic iris scan technology that stores digital images of people's eyes in a database and is considered a quicker alternative to fingerprints. The department will run a two-week test in October of commercially sold iris scanners at a Border Patrol station in McAllen, Texas, where they will be used on illegal immigrants, said Arun Vemury, program manager at the department's Science and Technology branch. 'The test will help us determine how viable this is for potential (department) use in the future,' Vemury said."

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221 comments

first scan (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33566172)

Sign me up

Better herding tools (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33566188)

For a brave new world!

next up: (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33566196)

you'll need to drop trou and let them do an anal probe when you fly.

!better (5, Funny)

mark72005 (1233572) | more than 3 years ago | (#33566234)

Brought to you by all those people who thought this administration would be better than the last.

!worse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33566258)

its not worse either, and whats it got to do with this new administration, really?

-- brought to you by the captcha "totality"

Re:!worse (4, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 3 years ago | (#33566520)

its not worse either

That rather depends on your vantage point, now doesn't it? GWB never tried to tell me that I must buy a product from a for-profit industry.....

and whats it got to do with this new administration, really?

Who do you think runs Homeland Security? The underpants gnomes?

Re:!worse (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33566556)

its not worse either

That rather depends on your vantage point, now doesn't it? GWB never tried to tell me that I must buy a product from a for-profit industry.....

Well, except those two wars, brought to you by the wonderful people at Haliburton and Blackwater!

Re:!worse (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 3 years ago | (#33566570)

Well, except those two wars, brought to you by the wonderful people at Haliburton and Blackwater!

I thought the first war had something to do with that hole in lower Manhattan. Who knew it was all Halliburton's fault? When will they be indicted for the 3,000 Americans they killed?

Re:!worse (3, Insightful)

ALeavitt (636946) | more than 3 years ago | (#33566688)

If the wars were really about that smoking hole in Manhattan, then we probably should have gone after the guys who caused it.

Re:!worse (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 3 years ago | (#33566964)

You mean like Al Quada and the Taliban?

Re:!worse (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33566720)

What a surprise. You remembered the people killed on 9/11 but you forgot all of the US and allied service-members and innocent civilians killed by the wars.

Hundreds of thousands have died. Millions have been displaced. And our country's treasury has been raided. I don't think Halliburton caused the wars, but I do know they have conducted themselves as war profiteers. And that is a vile crime.

Re:!worse (0, Flamebait)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 3 years ago | (#33566604)

"That rather depends on your vantage point, now doesn't it? GWB never tried to tell me that I must buy a product from a for-profit industry..... "

Stop picking on G.W. Bush ... it is not his fault he wasn't smart enough to think of the idea!

Re:!worse (0, Offtopic)

Smauler (915644) | more than 3 years ago | (#33566670)

GWB never tried to tell me that I must buy a product from a for-profit industry.....

Good luck buying oil from those who have not profited from the Iraq war. Wait... there are no large multinationals that profited from the war?

Also, the US is losing wetlands at a rate of thousands of acres _per year_, because of short sighted industrial practices. The BP oil spill has affected hundreds of acres of US land.

Re:!worse (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 3 years ago | (#33566730)

Good luck buying oil from those who have not profited from the Iraq war.

I can choose whether or not I buy oil. Thanks to Obama I will not be able to choose whether or not I buy health insurance, at least not until SCOTUS strikes down that portion of his "reform" legislation.

The BP oil spill has affected hundreds of acres of US land.

Perhaps that could have mitigated if the White House had accepted the offer of skimming skips from the Dutch?

Re:!worse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33567014)

Yes, and thanks to Obama, getting sick will no longer be the #1 cause of bankruptcy, nor will insurance companies be able to delay or reject payments while you have to prove that you didn't have a pre-existing condition. These are the great crimes of our time.

Re:!worse (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 3 years ago | (#33567130)

Neither one of those problems justifies taking away my right to decide whom I want to associate with. I have a moral and religious objection to the way insurance companies do business. Who the hell are you to compel me to associate with them?

Not buy oil? HA! (1)

sjbe (173966) | more than 3 years ago | (#33567058)

I can choose whether or not I buy oil.

No you can't. Virtually every product available today depends directly or indirectly on oil or oil derived products. Gasoline, fertilizer, plastics, diesel, lubricants, fabrics and many more are all produced from oil. Even the food you eat and the water you drink depends on oil in order to produce it and get it to market. The manufacture of any power production equipment requires oil at some point in the process. Claiming you can choose not to buy oil is somewhat like claiming you can choose not to breathe air. The only way you could not use oil would be to go completely primitive and remove yourself from modern society completely.

Thanks to Obama I will not be able to choose whether or not I buy health insurance, at least not until SCOTUS strikes down that portion of his "reform" legislation.

Were you seriously planning to NOT buy health insurance? If you have the means to do so and choose not to then you are an idiot.

Perhaps that could have mitigated if the White House had accepted the offer of skimming skips from the Dutch?

Right. I'm sure that would have fixed everything. If only the Dutch had come to the rescue everything would be fine... [/sarcasm]

Re:Not buy oil? HA! (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 3 years ago | (#33567108)

Virtually every product available today depends directly or indirectly on oil or oil derived products. Gasoline, fertilizer, plastics, diesel, lubricants, fabrics and many more are all produced from oil.

With the exception of fabrics you haven't named a single product that I can't live without, albeit with varying degrees of difficulty. There are also fabrics (hemp comes to mind) that don't rely on oil.

If you have the means to do so and choose not to then you are an idiot.

I have the right to be an idiot if I so choose. I'm in my 20s and healthy. My most likely source of expensive medical bills is an automobile accident and I've already got insurance for that.

Right. I'm sure that would have fixed everything. If only the Dutch had come to the rescue everything would be fine...

Don't be an idiot. I didn't say it would have fixed everything. It just would have been better than doing nothing. They rejected those skimmers because of EPA regulations that prohibited the discharge of the small amount of oil they couldn't collect back into the ocean. Apparently it's more logical to leave 100% of the oil in the ocean than it is to collect >90% of it and return the rest.

Re:!worse (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 3 years ago | (#33567092)

"GWB never tried to tell me that I must buy a product from a for-profit industry....."

No matter what politician you're talking about, you can almost be sure that they have been bought out by large corporations, and blinded by power. Obama is no worse than Bush, and is likely just as much of a sellout.

Re:!worse (1)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 3 years ago | (#33566532)

its not worse either, and whats it got to do with this new administration, really?

-- brought to you by the captcha "totality"

Many of us naively thought that maybe a new Administration, especially one led by a legal scholar, would be privy to things like the Fourth Amendment and other Civil Liberties.

And social conservatives really need to understand that Civil Liberties also include the Second Amendment - they're not just some "Liberal" thing.

Re:!worse (3, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 3 years ago | (#33566602)

especially one led by a legal scholar

You mean the same legal scholar with the anti-gun voting record? The one that voted for retroactive immunity for telecommunications corporations that broke the law? The one that thinks the commerce clause gives the Federal Government the power to compel the citizenry to do business with for-profit enterprise? The one that thinks the 1st amendment doesn't apply when citizens band together under the guise of a corporation?

That legal scholar?

Re:!worse (1)

darth dickinson (169021) | more than 3 years ago | (#33566850)

Many of us naively thought that maybe a new Administration, especially one led by a legal scholar...

Who would that be? The same legal scholar that held a part-time lecturer position and never published an article?

Re:!worse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33566550)

>whats it got to do with this new administration, really?

Nowadays you can just post something like 'LOL Obama sucks' and get marked "Insightful". I guess he really is the new George W Bush.

Much Better (0, Troll)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 3 years ago | (#33566580)

"Brought to you by all those people who thought this administration would be better than the last."

Actually, I knew damn well this administration would be better, and it certainly is much better. Anybody who compares this administration to the last and concludes there is no difference is not paying attention. Anything short of perfection brings people with very short memories like yourself out of the woodwork. It is very, very sad.

Re:Much Better (2, Interesting)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 3 years ago | (#33566628)

Dunno. From my northern vantage point here in delicious Canada, I knew it wasn't going to be better. I knew in fact based on his previous history, and lack of experience it was going to be worse. You guys got a "Iggy lite", which of course means that he's got no real world experience, and believes that government intervention in all things is the only proper way to solve any issue. And when there's actual issues at hand, he's no where to be found and letting anyone else deal with it so he has no blame.

Bureaucracy, it does you harm. However Bush for his faults, especially 'social conservatism' or 'passionate conservatism' was mostly at fault, and was doomed to failure for a reason.

Re:!better (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33566586)

Brought to you by all those people who thought this administration would be better than the last.

Come off of it. People forget the crimes of the last administration because they are painful to recall. Have you forgotten the Florida recount fiasco, falsified WMD claims, unprovoked war in Iraq, downplaying of civilian causalities, torture of prisoners, McCarthyism in a different name, stripping of the rights of LGBTs, the USA PATRIOT Act, illegal wiretapping, harassment of the media, payoffs of the media, stripping of bankruptcy protection, and the alienation of our allies?

I hate to break it to you, but this administration IS better than the last by light years. That doesn't mean that it is good enough, but there is no reason that it should be compared with the last.

Re:!better (1)

Hijacked Public (999535) | more than 3 years ago | (#33566666)

Have you forgotten the Florida recount fiasco

That wasn't really the administration, as much as it was inherent silliness in our electoral procedures. That a presidential election can turn into a 'fisaco' is the root of the problem.

falsified WMD claims, unprovoked war in Iraq, downplaying of civilian causalities, torture of prisoners, McCarthyism in a different name, stripping of the rights of LGBTs, the USA PATRIOT Act, illegal wiretapping, harassment of the media, payoffs of the media, stripping of bankruptcy protection, and the alienation of our allies?

You win this round AC.

Re:!better (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 3 years ago | (#33566838)

That wasn't really the administration, as much as it was inherent silliness in Florida's electoral procedures.

FTFY

Re:!better (1)

skarphace (812333) | more than 3 years ago | (#33566914)

That wasn't really the administration, as much as it was inherent silliness in the actions of the Bush/Cheney campaign.

FTFY

FTFY

Re:!better (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 3 years ago | (#33566998)

The Bush/Cheney campaign wasn't the one that tried to cherry pick which districts got recounts. There's only one person that deserves the credit (or blame) for electing GWB. His name is Al Gore.

Re:!better (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 3 years ago | (#33566768)

stripping of the rights of LGBTs

Yeah, I really started to lose respect for Bush when he signed Don't Ask Don't Tell and the Defense of Marriage Act into law. Thankfully we now have a Democrat in office and Democrats would never sign such hateful legislation.

Re:!better (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33566678)

No one should try to shine a laser into or inspect my eyes unless you are an ophthalmologist! You are very vulnerable to infections from the scanners and "mishaps" that could hurt your eyes. This will develop into a great weapon in restrictive countries to squelch opponents when there happens to be a "malfunction" when they are going through a routine check.

Re:!better (3, Funny)

shoehornjob (1632387) | more than 3 years ago | (#33566918)

Brought to you by all those people who thought this administration would be better than the last.

LMAO. Also brought to you by the folks at Diebold, makers of the hackable electronic voting device. Now taking bets on how long it will take to hack into our iris scanners.

What's going to stop them (2, Insightful)

iONiUM (530420) | more than 3 years ago | (#33566240)

From deciding this is a great idea and putting it everywhere? They already fingerprint (foreigners), so iris scanning isn't really that far off. I won't bore you anymore with the slippery slope argument, I think we all know where this is going.

I wonder what it'll take to rally the docile United States citizens to fight back. You guys have guns and shit, don't you? Maybe you should go confederate on the government's ass.

Re:What's going to stop them (3, Insightful)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#33566282)

They'll try.

They'll get sued.

The courts will see it as an invasion wherever it's an invasion, and as valid wherever it's valid, and will screw up the fringe cases that will become controversial until an apellate court gets it right or the Supreme Court does what the GOP chose them to do.

This ain't America's first rodeo.

Re:What's going to stop them (2, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#33566562)

Right... because the courts have had a fantastic record of not screwing things up....

The courts will probably rule that you have no expectation of your privacy when you are outside of your own home like they have ruled for just about everything else. Remember, this is the same court that allows warrant-less GPS devices to be placed on your cars. (http://articles.cnn.com/2010-08-27/justice/oregon.gps.surveillance_1_gps-device-appeals-chief-judge-alex-kozinski?_s=PM:CRIME)

The idea that courts will clear things up is laughable. They almost never rule in favor of freedom.

Re:What's going to stop them (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 3 years ago | (#33566624)

They almost never rule in favor of freedom.

Otis McDonald would probably disagree with you there.....

Re:What's going to stop them (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#33566714)

Ok, so they ruled correctly one time (and it was pretty damn obvious that it was the right interpretation) but think of all the other times they've been wrong, one notable one that comes to mind is Korematsu v. United States along with New Jersey v. T.L.O. and that is just what popped in my head, I'm sure if I dug down deeper I could find a lot of other cases that they ruled incorrectly.

Re:What's going to stop them (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 3 years ago | (#33566820)

The Courts aren't perfect (Gonzales v. Raich and Kelo v. New London come to mind) but Judaical review is a better system than most other nations have.....

Re:What's going to stop them (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#33566860)

I really think the US might be the only country that needs massive amounts of judicial review. It seems to be the only country that can both shit on its own constitution and have a lack of true accountability for its politicians due to the two party system. Many other countries have proportional representation which allows people to have a greater amount of control of their laws because they will almost always have a handful of representatives for even the most obscure parties.

Re:What's going to stop them (2, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 3 years ago | (#33566954)

I'll take Judaical review over "proportional" representation any day of the week. Proportional representation gives too much power to political parties. Political parties under such systems tend to be much more monolithic entities than they are in the United States.

Re:What's going to stop them (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#33567006)

Monolithic entities are a good thing because they actually stand for something and you can then choose the party of your like rather than voting for the "lesser evil", for example, someone who actually -wants- green politics can vote for a green party rather than having to appeal to the democrats/republicans. Similarly, people who want a libertarian form of government can actually vote for someone who shares their beliefs rather than voting for the "lesser evil". Etc.

Proportional representation allows everyone's voice to be heard rather than shutting out their voices and frustrating voters.

Re:What's going to stop them (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 3 years ago | (#33567062)

Monolithic entities are a good thing

No they aren't. They concentrate too much power in the hands of the party leadership.

you can then choose the party of your like rather than voting for the "lesser evil", for example, someone who actually -wants- green politics can vote for a green party rather than having to appeal to the democrats/republicans.

Nothing is stopping you from doing that now.

Re:What's going to stop them (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#33567122)

Parties are principled. Individuals aren't. It becomes clear that many candidates don't know how they stand on certain issues, which is really worrying. Why would you vote for someone who doesn't know where they stand on basic issues? Most parties have comprehensive platforms which they follow.

It is a lot easier to bribe and individual than it is to bribe an entire organization. For example, if I vote for a Republican am I getting someone like Ron Paul or someone like John McCain or someone like George W Bush? On the other hand, if I vote for a European-style party, I generally know where they stand and they do a pretty good job at standing for those issues.

Re:What's going to stop them (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 3 years ago | (#33567170)

The only principle a political party has is the accumulation of power. Political parties exist for the specific reason of concreting power and evading the checks and balances built into our political system. In any event, your solution is looking for a problem. There's nothing stopping you from voting for third party candidates. Don't blame me if you decide to vote strategically rather than voting your conscience.

Re:What's going to stop them (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#33566962)

proportional representation

The U.S. also has proportional representation. If your Congressional district can elect a third-party candidate, he will be seated in Congress.

The U.S. doesn't have a "two-party" system for any reason other than two parties have a lot more political skill than any third party does.

What the U.S. has that other countries don't have is direct election of the President (well, sort-of direct; there's an Electoral College in the way, but its flaws are subtle enough that nobody brings them up until something goes tits-up in the process). That avoids the situation where you hold a general election and still don't have a majority or coalition in the legislature that is capable of selecting a head of state.

And then there are countries with no government except in name (most in Africa, these days)...

Re:What's going to stop them (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#33567060)

The courts will probably rule that you have no expectation of your privacy when you are outside of your own home like they have ruled for just about everything else. Remember, this is the same court that allows warrant-less GPS devices to be placed on your cars. (http://articles.cnn.com/2010-08-27/justice/oregon.gps.surveillance_1_gps-device-appeals-chief-judge-alex-kozinski?_s=PM:CRIME)

That's because they're right. You don't have a right not to be followed around by the police, even if they do it sneakily. When you're in public, you're in public, not in private. The 4th Amendment protects your property and papers, but doesn't protect you from being observed; never did; and never will. If you want that, you need to keep people from observing you, by going inside and closing the blinds. You aren't surrounded by a coccoon of invisibility just because the police are interested in you.

You might try to parallel it with communications over the phone (or over the radio in the form of a cellphone), but in those cases you have an "expectation of privacy". You have no such expectation when transporting yourself bodily on the public ways.

Re:What's going to stop them (1)

formfeed (703859) | more than 3 years ago | (#33566818)

I agree in principle. With one caveat however:
Under Bush the Radiant, government argued -and the courts followed that to some extent- that constitutional rights are citizen rights not general human rights. (One of the reasonings why imprisonment without court decision is ok). Since Obama the Kenian follows his predecessor when it comes to law&order-crap, my guess is that the iris scan will be extended to residents that aren't citizens (green card holders). If that goes okay, it will be extended to citizens where the government has reasonable doubts that they aren't loyal patriots. If that goes okay, it will be extended to citizens passing through a high security border area (everything 100 miles from any border).

If there are any massive public protests, they will go back a step. So, most likely the end line will be somewhere at non-citizens, and a few troublemakers nobody cares about. -and of course it might be required at work or at the DMV, or to get a fishing license, ... but that all is voluntary. (Meaning: you don't have to get these things)

Re:What's going to stop them (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#33566896)

Obama the Kenian follows his predecessor when it comes to law&order

I was listening until you went off into the generalistic weeds.

Obama is not following Bush. He's trying to extricate the government from Bush's stupid choices on law without simultaneously removing its power to govern. In some cases Obama's justice department has followed the Bush course, intending the courts to decide against Bush's ideals. That leaves the case decided, since the Obama government won't appeal it the way the Bush government would, to a Supreme Court that will not decide any case with the rights of the people as a primary focus.

Re:What's going to stop them (1)

mibe (1778804) | more than 3 years ago | (#33566286)

Docile compared to who?

Re:What's going to stop them (0)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#33566408)

I wonder what it'll take to rally the docile United States citizens to fight back.

Oh, that's simple... Just preempt their favorite TV show [abcnews.com]

Re:What's going to stop them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33566498)

You guys have guns and shit, don't you? Maybe you should go confederate on the government's ass.

Trying to picture my average American fighting in a conventional war is outright ludicrous. Not even police forces are suited to mobilisation or combat; we'd depend on the ~25 million ex-military, and most of them are too old. I think we've reached a natural point in our civilization where the populace fighting back has become an impossibility. Diplomacy and terrorism are the new words of the century.

CNN: Young adults 'too fat to fight' [cnn.com]

About 27 percent of young adults are medically ineligible for the military, according to Mission: Readiness, a group of retired admirals, generals, and other senior military leaders.

Mission: Readiness' report, "Too Fat to Fight," said that 75 percent of young Americans between the ages of 17 to 24 do not qualify for the military because of failure to graduate [from high school], criminal records or physical problems. The study cited Department of Defense and health data.

Re:What's going to stop them (1)

guruevi (827432) | more than 3 years ago | (#33566544)

Actually, they already do iris scanning for legal immigrants. You get your fingerprints (all 10) and iris scanned whenever you get your permanent residence card. I think the difference is that they're going to start iris scanning and fingerprinting illegal immigrants.

Re:What's going to stop them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33566944)

/rant
US treats everyone as a criminals just for entering it.

So I say no thanks, there are plenty of other fun countries to travel to who don't treat you as a criminal.

I find it amusing how little freedom people in US really have, and how it's from their own politics of fear that this is like this.

I'm not surprised that Obama and the democrats aren't really a force of change, they've become a pawn for the ingrained bureaucrats who have mostly been hired from the pools of terrified religious right.

Democrats failed, Obama failed. Can you now see that the 2 party system doesn't work? /rant

Re:What's going to stop them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33567008)

"You guys have guns..."

The firepower available to the US military long ago surpassed whatever the average citizen could afford or was allowed to buy. Your confederacy would be quickly annihilated. This isn't Afghanistan, where people are accustomed to perpetual war. The only practical functions of guns for the private citizen are self-defense, hunting, and target practice. Nevertheless, I'll bet there are some Slashdot readers reading this post who think that a total ban on personal firearms coupled with Uncle Sam being allowed to peep at your nuts is an awesome idea.

Hello Mr. Yukkamoto (2, Insightful)

dazedNconfuzed (154242) | more than 3 years ago | (#33566246)

GAP Sign: Hello Mr. Yukkamoto and welcome back to the GAP!
John Anderton: *Mr. Yukkamoto?*

Re:Hello Mr. Yukkamoto (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#33566342)

I guess he really has his father's eyes.

How nice. Pretty iris flowers (1)

thomasdz (178114) | more than 3 years ago | (#33566262)

Finally! The US government is putting technology to work for good in scanning flowers...I can only assume that it will be used for public art displays?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iris_(plant) [wikipedia.org]

Already Used In The UK... (4, Informative)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 3 years ago | (#33566268)

...when the damn things are working, anyway!

A few of our airports have them for inbound passengers, Gatwick in London being one of them.

I found them quite useful to avoid the customs queues when I flew back into the UK but a lot of that is because so few other people registered to use them. It also took me three or four uses before I'd worked out the optimal positions to look into the mirrors, I would imagine that if a lot of people signed up to use them, it would be slower than going via a human customs officer.

Plus, as I implied earlier, about 50% of the time they were Out Of Order anyway, so the benefits seem quite negligible.

Re:Already Used In The UK... (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#33566432)

The problems isn't with the merits of Irises vs Fingerprints it is simply scary that we even have a debate over it. I think we all know where this is heading, to a place with no economic and no civil freedoms because everything is tracked. The ability to choose anonymity is a vital part of freedom and the government has very few places to mandate the lack of anonymity for law-abiding, peaceful citizens.

Re:Already Used In The UK... (5, Insightful)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 3 years ago | (#33566528)

I signed up for IRIS because holding an image of a scan of the back of my eye on a database somewhere seems far less intrusive or harmful than my fingerprints or DNA.

Not that I have, or ever am likely to, commit a crime ever but an iris scan isn't going to put me at the scene of a crime or give much away to a private health insurance company looking for any excuse to up my premiums.

Plus the fact that the Data Protection Act over here offers some protection, provided you understand what it does & doesn't do.

Re:Already Used In The UK... (3, Interesting)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#33566610)

Yeah, the fact is, you shouldn't need to have any body parts scanned to do most activities it amazes me we somehow think its "normal" to be scanned when entering or exiting a country. These things are peaceful activities that cause no harm. Our xenophobia is taken to extremes lately. This idea that entering or exiting a country is considered to be hostile is laughable, especially since things like the "Terror Watch List", secret things that anyone could be on and be unable to leave the country because they are suspected "terrorists".

Re:Already Used In The UK... (2, Insightful)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 3 years ago | (#33566686)

It's voluntary here, at least for the moment - and the reason I signed up was a trade off between an iris image on a database somewhere and the ability to jump queues at immigration, I didn't (and still don't) consider the terrorist issue completely relevant.

If I'm honest, I see the prevalence of (predominantly American) corporations gobbling up or destroying anything unique in this country as far more of a threat to the fabric of my society than a few Muslim loonies with bombs strapped to them.

Re:Already Used In The UK... (2, Interesting)

vux984 (928602) | more than 3 years ago | (#33566692)

Not that I have, or ever am likely to, commit a crime ever but an iris scan isn't going to put me at the scene of a crime or give much away to a private health insurance company looking for any excuse to up my premiums.

You know what, that's actually pretty insightful. I'm against biometrics in general for government tracking, but you make a good point that an iris scan, unlike dna and fingerprints isn't something that you casually strew around everywhere you go.

It does genuinely seem like one of the least evil / least abusable biometrics available.

And defeating casual remote scanning applications is solved with such high tech solutions as 'sunglasses' (soon to be illegal I'm sure.), and novelty contact lenses which obscure or alter the iris.

One concern though is could this be vector for criminal identity theft? Take a scan and print it to a contact lens...? In controlled circumstances it should be easy to determine that a contact is in place, but some of the iris scanner literature I've read promises iris scanning of 'people in motion as they walk through a doorway' which should be much more easily fooled than a system where you have to put your eye an inch or so away from a box of camera equipment.

Re:Already Used In The UK... (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 3 years ago | (#33566788)

Yes, but I guess identity theft is possible with just about any personal information held on a database.

Plus I always find it amusing that many people who get paranoid about biometric data will still carry things like store loyalty cards that seem to do nothing more harmful than give purchase discounts.

The big supermarkets here are looking to use RFID chips in their loyalty cards so not only do they already know about everything you buy & when you buy it, but where you are at any one moment in time.

I can vote out a government that misuses my data but what can I do about an evil corporation doing it?

Re:Already Used In The UK... (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 3 years ago | (#33567016)

Plus I always find it amusing that many people who get paranoid about biometric data will still carry things like store loyalty cards that seem to do nothing more harmful than give purchase discounts.

A store loyalty card tracks why I buy at that store. It stops tracking me when I leave the store.

They already have low tech measures (people) watching customers move the store to see what path they take, and how long they spend in each area, etc. Using technology to do this lets them do more people at once... but I find it hard to get too offended about a store that wishes to track me and what I do on their own premises.

Governements and google who wish to follow you everywhere and know everything about everyone are far uglier. I'm more worried about google than the government, and I'm more worried about the government than a loyalty card at the grocery store.

Re:Already Used In The UK... (2, Insightful)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 3 years ago | (#33567106)

They already have low tech measures (people) watching customers move the store to see what path they take, and how long they spend in each area, etc. Using technology to do this lets them do more people at once... but I find it hard to get too offended about a store that wishes to track me and what I do on their own premises.

A store that is big enough to give you a loyalty card has probably already done enough damage to your social environment - what about the small family-owned businesses that have been trashed by out-of-town hypermarkets?

Here in the UK, we have a saying of "clone towns" where small businesses in town centres were trashed as a result of price-cutting out-of-town hypermarkets leaving a lot of empty properties that the big chain stores and theme bars could move into - thus many town centres in the UK look identical now.

And what about all the local varieties of fruit, vegetables and livestock that are now nearing extinction because supermarkets only want to stock tasteless crap with long shelf lives that can be shipped from acorss the world?

I think you are seriously underestimating what these stores have done and what they're capable of just to increase their profits.

Minority Report (1)

Trip6 (1184883) | more than 3 years ago | (#33566276)

At last, personalized mall marketing!

Pink Eye (1)

ItsPaPPy (1182035) | more than 3 years ago | (#33566294)

I just hope that the first person that gets scanned, doesnt have pink eye! Then all of DHS will be out for 3 weeks.

Re:Pink Eye (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33566396)

Wrong, just the first illegal immigrant to get the pink eye will be out in 3 hours.

Okay somebody tell me (5, Insightful)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#33566312)

How many times have you heard of people leaving their iris prints on a doorknob, or wine glass, or a gun?

Re:Okay somebody tell me (2, Insightful)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 3 years ago | (#33566394)

People would be more likely to submit to the quicker and less invasive iris scans as part of a centralized tracking program in the name of, wait for it, "National Security."

For example, it will start with mandatory scans for passports and airports, then all border crossings, then even bus and train stations and amusement parks, and where can they take it from there?

Re:Okay somebody tell me (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 3 years ago | (#33566476)

How many people know that the technology is available to grab iris images from people from 10+ metres away, along with pictures for face recognition? Very convenient, but a little beyond what most people know about.

Re:Okay somebody tell me (1)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 3 years ago | (#33566484)

What if you get Cheetos in your eye?

Re:Okay somebody tell me (1)

furbearntrout (1036146) | more than 3 years ago | (#33566778)

And it's so easy to photograph fingerprints? Even with a good telephoto/macro lens?(IANA- professional photographer)

Re:Okay somebody tell me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33566798)

I do it all the time. I push various objects in my eyes. Last week I left my iris print on the photons of a 10 watt laser, even.

Still waiting for the eye to recover.

Will be used on illegal immigrants? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33566346)

Methinks the scenarios will go like this: "No [specific official paper(s)]? Ok, step this way and look in here at the pretty picture. Thanks, now turn around and go back."

Huh? (1)

Dr. Spork (142693) | more than 3 years ago | (#33566380)

As a US permanent resident, I get iris scanned and fingerprinted every time I enter the US. Or at least I thought that's what it was - I'm always asked to look into some scope with my right eye. This happens every fucking time. Now there's even a separate "permanent residents" line at Terminal 4 in JFK, and wouldn't you know it, it moves at a glacial speed. BTW, this country is seriously starting to suck.

Re:this country is seriously starting to suck (0, Flamebait)

snikulin (889460) | more than 3 years ago | (#33566514)

Nope, it does not yet.
But you just wait for our startup's anal probe deployment in every KFC near you!

Why would DHS care... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33566418)

about those poor illegal immigrants selling flowers by the side of the road?

Oh, nevermind.

Dept. of Homeland Security To Test Iris Scanners (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33566428)

Hopefully, it will burn out all their irises.

TFA says range is 3-6 feet (1)

GrumblyStuff (870046) | more than 3 years ago | (#33566454)

Age of Minority Report?

Well, at least not until they compile a database with everyone's confirmed identity and a gaggle of biometric data to go with it.

(Don't you hate it when people answer their own question? I do.)

Re:TFA says range is 3-6 feet (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#33566642)

3 to 6 feet?!? Now every tinfoil hat will have to come with dark sunglasses!

Re:TFA says range is 3-6 feet (1)

mkiwi (585287) | more than 3 years ago | (#33566738)

What's scary is when companies like Google and Facebook get access to these devices.

Oh yay (1)

Zerth (26112) | more than 3 years ago | (#33566470)

If this is anything like retina scanning, they're just scanning the eye for 360(or a multiple of) arc samples and storing the average value, maybe 12 bits greyscale or 12 bits RGB.

Consider the amount of variability(or lack thereof) of your iris. No zebra red/blue stripes.

Consider how much your eyes look like your parents'/mailman's eyes.

Consider how much the scanner fudges for head rotation and eye movement.

What's the false positive rate?

Get rid of illegal immigration... (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#33566516)

Why can the DHS and the rest of the government spend so much money on fences and stuff but don't strike at the root of illegal immigration: The fact that legal immigration is full of problems. I really don't see any base for this xenophobia, if we wanted to get rid of illegal immigration, we should make legal immigration easy to do.

It is a bit like the piracy debate, make it a pain to buy legitimate content and suddenly piracy is attractive. Make the legitimate content easier to buy and give no advantage to piracy other than the price and then piracy isn't that big of a deal.

Re:Get rid of illegal immigration... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33566622)

Illegal immigration, by definition, selects for people who are willing to break US laws.

Re:Get rid of illegal immigration... (1, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#33566652)

No it doesn't, especially when the laws are so absurd to begin with. You could say the same thing about "piracy" that somehow because they are "willing" to break copyright law, they will break other laws too. But I can guarantee you that if you sample the people who "pirate" the vast, vast majority have no criminal record and are law-abiding people.

There are many cases where the law, not the people need to change.

Re:Get rid of illegal immigration... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33566880)

Copyright infringement isn't a criminal offense unless you are hosting material (A) pre-released, or (B) for-profit. All law isn't equal... you can't use jaywalking laws as an excuse to slam all criminal/federal offense laws.

Re:Get rid of illegal immigration... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33566674)

Well fences are flawed by design, what we need is giant space lasers that vaporize any trespassers. Don't worry about ethics, their ashes will feed the environment.

Re:Get rid of illegal immigration... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33566828)

Well, on one hand, you could lower the requirements for entry, which wouldn't be healthy for the economy, or you could make it easier for people who pass the current ones, which won't do anything about the people who don't. Realistically, the only alternative you have to building huge fences is improving Mexico.

Re:Get rid of illegal immigration... (2, Informative)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 3 years ago | (#33566856)

Why can the DHS and the rest of the government spend so much money on fences and stuff but don't strike at the root of illegal immigration: The fact that legal immigration is full of problems.

That's not the root of illegal immigration. The root of illegal immigration is the lack of enforcement of employment law. Make it impossible for illegal immigrants to work and the problem will solve itself without a fence.

Re:Get rid of illegal immigration... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33566938)

If we didn't have so many social programs then it wouldn't matter who came into the country. The only reason why we want to keep out illegal immigrants is because they don't pay taxes but cost money using social services. Get rid of the social programs and then it's a moot point. Of course, that'll never happen since most people feel entitled to education, health care, food, etc. Heaven forbid some people get left out in the cold because they weren't self-reliant or just plain unlucky.

The eyes have it (1)

iliketrash (624051) | more than 3 years ago | (#33566566)

Don't cut out my eyeball, bro!

Re:The eyes have it (1)

Mike Van Pelt (32582) | more than 3 years ago | (#33567156)

That's the first hack (literally!) people think of, but an iris scanner won't work on a disembodied eyeball. The iris will be fully dilated.

Of course, if you need to go somewhere controlled by an iris scanner just after a visit to the ophthalmologist... oops!

It won't work on pilots (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#33566614)

Their eyes are too bloodshot!

Propaganda (1)

kimvette (919543) | more than 3 years ago | (#33566698)

s/illegal immigrants/illegal aliens/

HTH!

WARNING!!! (1)

sconeu (64226) | more than 3 years ago | (#33566774)

Warning! Do not look directly into iris scanner with remaining good eye!

I'm a (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 3 years ago | (#33567154)

I'm a Hotheaded Naked Ice Borer, you insensitive clod!

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