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Police To Begin iPhone Iris Scans

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the look-at-the-phone-citizen dept.

Crime 197

cultiv8 writes "Dozens of police departments nationwide are gearing up to use a tech company's already controversial iris- and facial-scanning device that slides over an iPhone and helps identify a person or track criminal suspects. The smartphone-based scanner, named Mobile Offender Recognition and Information System, or MORIS, is made by BI2 Technologies in Plymouth, Massachusetts, and can be deployed by officers out on the beat or back at the station. An iris scan, which detects unique patterns in a person's eyes, can reduce to seconds the time it takes to identify a suspect in custody. This technique also is significantly more accurate than results from other fingerprinting technology long in use by police, BI2 says. When attached to an iPhone, MORIS can photograph a person's face and run the image through software that hunts for a match in a BI2-managed database of U.S. criminal records. Each unit costs about $3,000."

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YAH !! I WANT MORE IPHONE AND COWBELL !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36830004)

So don't fear the reaper !!

And Lemme Guess... (3, Insightful)

The O Rly Factor (1977536) | more than 2 years ago | (#36830032)

Telling the cop that he's gonna need a warrant to use it on you will get you slapped with an obstruction of justice and resisting arrest charge, right? That's usually the crime given to those rouge renegades that dare try to use their rights.

Re:And Lemme Guess... (2)

tsotha (720379) | more than 2 years ago | (#36830072)

Why would you assume a warrant is necessary? There's no constitutional right to not be photographed.

Re:And Lemme Guess... (4, Insightful)

TWX (665546) | more than 2 years ago | (#36830100)

Does a normal picture at a reasonable distance, even a distance as small as a foot, manage to get an accurate representation of one's iris? I don't think that even the highest quality cameras on the market are that good. The camera must be in one's face and the subject must not move, blink, or move one's eye (which could require some kind of restraining of the individual).

Obtaining an iris scan is probably invasive enough to require a compelling reason to perform it, and my guess is that under most circumstances that means that one is either 1) already being arrested, or 2) being served a warrant for the collection of it.

Re:And Lemme Guess... (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 3 years ago | (#36830318)

Neither is there a constitutional right to privacy. There are certain searches and seizures that require a warrant, and certain protections against self testimony etc, but nowhere am I aware of any constitutional right to not be photographed.

You can argue about whether it is "police-state scary" or not, but to call it unconstitutional seems a little ridiculous.

Re:And Lemme Guess... (4, Insightful)

TWX (665546) | more than 3 years ago | (#36830390)

Take a picture of someone, fine.

Hold them down to scan their iris though? Gimme a break...

Re:And Lemme Guess... (0)

Duradin (1261418) | more than 3 years ago | (#36830438)

I wonder if the same people screaming bloody murder about this are the same ones that gleefully pointed out that the Apple Store "artist" was perfectly in the right taking close up (secret) photos in public.

Re:And Lemme Guess... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36830596)

It is not the same thing as has already been pointed out. You need not violate a person to take a photograph. You are not necessarily being intrusive either. And those of us who object don't necessarily agree with the courts. There should not be cameras used in policing or security without clear signs posted (at a minimum). Any other cameras should be limited to personal use only without permission. I'm not suggesting there should be a significant penalty for taking pictures of people without there permission. This is also a protected right where such photos are used non-commercially such as a news article or personal web page.

Re:And Lemme Guess... (1)

retchdog (1319261) | more than 3 years ago | (#36831776)

it's not the same thing (mostly because the apple store trick has zero evidentiary value, whereas this tool has concerns of false positives), but it's worth saying that both are fine by me. actually, both are pretty nifty.

all this does is check against criminal records more efficiently. apart from possible false positives, what's wrong with that?

Re:And Lemme Guess... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36830464)

Yeah, of course, and I bet you said exactly the same thing over every other loss of liberty since 911. Nothing to worry about, no big deal, who cares, if you haven't done anything wrong, the massah is kind, and other slave talk.

Re:And Lemme Guess... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36830912)

Don't forget "the Tea Party has our best interests at heart."

Oh, and "The Republicans want to cut our taxes even though we aren't millionaires."

Re:And Lemme Guess... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36830492)

I would imagine if you are wearing color or theatrical contact lenses, both of which hide your iris either in full or in part, you would be asked to remove them--which could be considered a search. Especially when done by "officers out on the beat"...

Re:And Lemme Guess... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36831370)

Try the 4th. Or, if you want, the caselaw around the 3rd.
The 4th specifically mentions being secure from searches of one's person. This would be a detailed search of your eye. Police work is *supposed* to be hard work..otherwise it's a police state.

Re:And Lemme Guess... (5, Insightful)

The O Rly Factor (1977536) | more than 3 years ago | (#36830122)

Because it seems like the equivalent of being booked, fingerprinted, and mugshot every time you get pulled over for a traffic violation. If you don't like the picture and the information on my ID, then go fuck yourself.

Re:And Lemme Guess... (3, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 3 years ago | (#36830126)

There's a major difference between being "photographed" and "Citizen! Stand still, hold your eyelids open, let us photograph it, then wait while we find your identity!" Whether that major difference will be recognized by the courts is another matter.

And, in case you think something not being in the constitution is a good reason why such a thing SHOULD not be in the constitution, realize it would have been pretty impressive were the founding fathers to predict cameras and iphones and put protections in against them.

Re:And Lemme Guess... (2)

I'm not really here (1304615) | more than 3 years ago | (#36830276)

Why do I suddenly have images of Minority Report in my mind... little spiders built with this technology in it, remotely controlled, identifying everyone in a building quickly... completely disregarding the rights of the people to be secure from unreasonable search...

Re:And Lemme Guess... (2)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 3 years ago | (#36830328)

And, in case you think something not being in the constitution is a good reason why such a thing SHOULD not be in the constitution, realize it would have been pretty impressive were the founding fathers to predict cameras and iphones and put protections in against them.

Whether or not something SHOULD be in the constitution is irrelevant when discussing whether or not something IS unconstitutional.

Re:And Lemme Guess... (5, Insightful)

Mr. Freeman (933986) | more than 3 years ago | (#36830382)

A ban against this absolutely SHOULD NOT be in the constitution. It would be ridiculous to try and imagine every single thing that could possibly be invented in the future to infringe on our rights. The constitution lays down rights such as "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures". ANYTHING that violates these rights is unconstitutional. I think the 4th amendment does a fine job here.

Now, anything in "plain view" is obviously not protected by the 4th amendment. Seems to me that although your iris is in "plain view", specific details about it are not. Anything that requires a $3000 lens assembly attached to a sophisticated piece of electronic equipment cannot possibly be regarded as "in plain view" by any reasonable person. The problem is that lawyers and police officers are usually far from reasonable and generally have little, if any, common sense.

Re:And Lemme Guess... (1)

bugs2squash (1132591) | more than 3 years ago | (#36830566)

If I'm wearing sunglasses my irises are not in plain sight. It's a well known fact that all criminals wear sunglasses even when it's dark. At least, the blues brothers did.

Re:Excuse me but the Blues Brothers were not cr... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36830668)

The Blues Brothers were NOT criminals, they were on a MISSION FROM GOD!

Re:And Lemme Guess... (1)

krotkruton (967718) | more than 3 years ago | (#36830830)

I don't see why it needs to be that complicated; close your eyes. If your eyes are closed and the officer asks you to open them, I don't see any reason why you have to comply.

Re:And Lemme Guess... (0)

Moryath (553296) | more than 3 years ago | (#36830936)

That didn't stop the US Supreme Court from ruling that police helicopters operating infared cameras scanning houses from above were not a "search."

Of course, that ruling also involved Clarence "just bribe my wife" Thomas. So, maybe it'll one day be reversed by a saner court.

Re:And Lemme Guess... (5, Informative)

slashqwerty (1099091) | more than 3 years ago | (#36831110)

That didn't stop the US Supreme Court from ruling that police helicopters operating infared cameras scanning houses from above were not a "search."

I think you are referring to Kyllo v United States [wikipedia.org] which ruled exactly the opposite of what you have stated. The court concluded that using infrared cameras to scan homes for leaking heat is a search and thus requires a warrant under the fourth amendment. The basis for the court's opinion was very similar to the grandparent post.

Of course, that ruling also involved Clarence "just bribe my wife" Thomas. So, maybe it'll one day be reversed by a saner court.

The ruling did indeed involve Thomas who joined the majority opinion in a 5-4 decision. Quite frankly I would consider any court that reverses the ruling to be less sane.

Re:And Lemme Guess... (0)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 3 years ago | (#36831400)

Wow, look at the split in that case. The majority was Scalia, Thomas, Souter, Ginsburg, and Breyer. That would never happen in a similar case today. It's amazing how polarized the country has become in just a decade.

If that case were decided today, it would likely turn out the way the GP thought it did. Remember, Thomas is the guy who ruled (in the minority, thankfully) that it's okay for a school to strip-search a girl for Ibuprofen.

Re:And Lemme Guess... (1)

Moryath (553296) | more than 3 years ago | (#36831848)

No, the ruling was a fucking joke.

The key wording is that the FLIR cameras were "not in general use by the public" and were therefore disallowed.

Several appellate courts have now ruled that in their jurisdictions, the cameras are "widely available to the public" and therefore "in general use" and therefore no longer covered by the Kyllo ruling.

Always gotta watch for the weasel words that bribed assholes like Thomas slip into the rulings. The devil's in the details...

Re:And Lemme Guess... (1)

iiiears (987462) | more than 3 years ago | (#36831862)

This thread and "Third Reich the Rise." on TV tonight.Then Rupert Murdock etc.
Unsettling.

Re:And Lemme Guess... (3, Interesting)

Dan667 (564390) | more than 3 years ago | (#36831274)

9th Amendment protects any rights that are not covered in the Constitution.

Re:And Lemme Guess... (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 3 years ago | (#36831722)

Now, anything in "plain view" is obviously not protected by the 4th amendment. Seems to me that although your iris is in "plain view", specific details about it are not. Anything that requires a $3000 lens assembly attached to a sophisticated piece of electronic equipment cannot possibly be regarded as "in plain view" by any reasonable person. The problem is that lawyers and police officers are usually far from reasonable and generally have little, if any, common sense.

What if I had a really good dSLR with a really nice zoom lens? And you were walking around and I happened to click my shutter right when your face happened to be in frame? $3000 for a good lens isn't high-end (the ones you see at events that are massive can easily be in the 5 digits).

If I can derive your iris pattern from my photo, is that "in plain view"? At worse, it's just a camera with a really nice lens assembly. It's just the camera app happens to also be able to recognize irises.

Now, I will agree that stopping people to have photos taken of their irises is more of a questionable area. But casually taking photos, I'm not sure what to make of it.

Re:And Lemme Guess... (1)

CruelKnave (1324841) | more than 3 years ago | (#36830132)

Maybe not, but if someone tries to photograph me, I'm allowed to turn my head away, no? There may be no right to not being photographed, but I sure as hell don't have to pose for a photo if I don't want to.

Re:And Lemme Guess... (4, Insightful)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 3 years ago | (#36830474)

The constitution was not intended to be about citizens. It originally enumerated responsibilities of the government, and placed restrictions on the government.

The Bill of Rights were amendments placed there to appease the fears of certain states who worried the federal government might get out of hand.

These amendments are not some whitelist of rights that the founders generously allowed us little people, they are lines in the sand that indicate when the federal government is becoming the master instead of the servant.

This "there is no constitutional right" thinking is bullshit. We The People have the right to do anything the hell we want that doesn't infringe on the rights of our brothers.

What the government thinks our rights should be is [supposed to be] irrelevant - if we want their opinion, we should give it to them.

But alas, we have collectively accepted a role as obedient subjects to a higher authority, and The Constitution has become just another brand of toilet paper.

Re:And Lemme Guess... (1)

reboot246 (623534) | more than 3 years ago | (#36830578)

Amen! I agree 100%!

Re:And Lemme Guess... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36830766)

The abuses have to stack up until they are intolerable.

It is my belief that real American's (ones that actually give a shit) are like shy sheepdogs and one day they will realize the wolves are circling about and attack with a viciousness not seen, well, not seen since the last revolution.

Re:And Lemme Guess... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36831042)

Thank you. This is what needs to find its way up. Out-fucking-standing! LOUDER -- \a

Re:And Lemme Guess... (1)

Sooner Boomer (96864) | more than 3 years ago | (#36831358)

Why would you assume a warrant is necessary? There's no constitutional right to not be photographed.

Except that I've copyrighted my face and all derivative works. And patented my DNA and its derivative works.

Re:And Lemme Guess... (2)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#36830206)

Why do you assume those renegades are red?

Re:And Lemme Guess... (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 3 years ago | (#36830732)

currently the "Scan" is to match you to a database of known criminals. But in order to scan you well enough to put you into the database they have to line you up against a wall and have you hold your eye open, etc... So you'll know when they are doing that at least. Of course, in 5 years time they'll be able to pull this info from your drivers license photo... but we all knew this Orwellian shits been coming for a long time.

Re:And Lemme Guess... (1)

ZosX (517789) | more than 3 years ago | (#36831212)

It is indeed a very slippery slope. Once you start sliding there is no stopping and boy have we slid far.

Re:And Lemme Guess... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36831732)

Shhh, just sit tight and let the water slowly come to a boil around you.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boiling_frog [wikipedia.org]

well now... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36830048)

I already burned off my prints... do I really need to have some glass eyes made?

Re:well now... (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 3 years ago | (#36830302)

Glass eyes won't help unless you change them all the time, or unless masses of people wear glass eyes with the same iris pattern.

stop war/killing expense to save old & young e (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36830056)

no? doesn't seem as though there'd be a choice, unless there's no discussion.

total disarmament would cause immense benefit to ALL of us instantly, should that become topical, as genuine human development would then restart.

But wait, there's more! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36830058)

Also outfit your police troops with all-black uniforms complete with jackboots and SS insignia. Have your police officers look authentic when they ask the citizens for their papers.

Eeh. In private hands? (1)

TWX (665546) | more than 2 years ago | (#36830074)

As many problems as there are in government databases, they generally don't use the contents of the databases for marketing, and they're supposed to attempt to keep access to the data restricted to only those with legitimate reason. That could include law enforcement or legal officials, or the person who is the subject of the file, with the proper request. It's also easier (note, I didn't say easy) to get improper data corrected. Law enforcement, being a portion of the executive branch in whatever jurisdiction or level of government it's associated with, is subject to legislation and legal rulings that can force changes or compliance.

Companies' purpose is profit. Right now that profit comes from the devices and the subscription to the data. Down the road, the company might see an opportunity for profit from mining the data in an anonymous fashion to the subjects of the data, or might find mining in an identifiable way, or might find that allowing third parties access to the data who otherwise shouldn't. Or, the data might be incorrect, outdated, or fraudulent, and government and law enforcement entities might end up creating more problems with bad arrests or worse based on flawed data from a private database. Additionally, a company might be harder to manage, even through legislation or court ruling, as there's a level of opacity through the corporate structure.

Make the devices, fine. Sell them to law enforcement, fine. Retain the data "for the customer", not fine.

Re:Eeh. In private hands? (2)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 3 years ago | (#36830346)

As many problems as there are in government databases, they generally don't use the contents of the databases for marketing, and they're supposed to attempt to keep access to the data restricted to only those with legitimate reason. That could include law enforcement or legal officials, or the person who is the subject of the file, with the proper request.

You can continue to think that.
Florida made $62 million by selling Florida drivers' license information [wptv.com]
Drivers histories $40 [ustrace.com]

Why iPhone? (2)

drb226 (1938360) | more than 2 years ago | (#36830092)

If this device already costs $3,000 I really don't see why they would specialize it to work with a $600 iPhone, of all things. Why not just give it its own screen and network connection?

Re:Why iPhone? (5, Funny)

mswhippingboy (754599) | more than 3 years ago | (#36830160)

Because Apple has a patent on the eye phone.

Re:Why iPhone? (1)

scuzzlebutt (517123) | more than 3 years ago | (#36830334)

Hah! I see what you did there! :)

Re:Why iPhone? (1)

TWX (665546) | more than 3 years ago | (#36830162)

Because procurement and purchasing managers are suckers for marketing, just like everyone else.

If a department issues smartphones to its officers then I could understand possibly integrating some other technology into the smartphone. If the department issues digital-trunking two-way radios, it would make a lot more sense to add a digital, non-voice component to the radio system to allow equipment to speak through the officer's radio to a central computer, then on to whatever remote database is in use. Come to think of it, since many such radio systems still have DTMF keypads on the radios, it wouldn't be that hard to also integrate into a telephone system so that officers could make work-related telephone calls through their radios without incurring cell-service charges. The radio handsets would need to be full-duplex capable, but that's not that hard to do. It would also be possible to set up officers' computers in their cars to use the same system.

Yes, there'd be an expensive initial equipment purchase cost, but the lack of service charges might well balance in favor of such a system over the long run.

Re:Why iPhone? (1)

tsotha (720379) | more than 3 years ago | (#36830330)

I'm guessing it was easier to write the software. There are hordes of people out there who know how to do interface and data programming on the iPhone, so the only expertise they'd have to develop is programming the custom hardware.

Re:Why iPhone? (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 3 years ago | (#36830404)

Just because an iPhone is only $600 doesn't mean another company could duplicate its functionality for $600 to include in their product.

My question is the opposite - why is this a big bulky hardware add-on instead of simply using the camera already in the phone? I think somebody could approximate this functionality in a $2 app. (Perhaps it would require a close-up focus lens as well?) Hmm, it looks like it may have a fingerprint reader built-in, too. (Just like my Thinkpad!)

Re:Why iPhone? (1)

gary_7vn (1193821) | more than 3 years ago | (#36830478)

Because then it would not be icool.

Re:Why iPhone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36830512)

Because this approach means that every cop gets a free iPhone.

Surprisingly enough, the program is hugely popular with the police forces themselves.

Re:Why iPhone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36830932)

Look buddy, I don't know how it works where you're from but if we don't spend every last dime (and then some) of our budget, then next year it gets cut.

If it takes buying the whole precinct iphones and doo-dads, that's great. It means we can spend the money on something we can use. If we can't, we're just gonna have to put spinning rims and kick-ass speakers in every squad car or something.

Great. (1)

Conrthomas (1993390) | more than 2 years ago | (#36830102)

Time to re-read Apple's iPhone service agreement to make sure I'm not being tracked via iris scans.

What a waste. (2)

flimflammer (956759) | more than 3 years ago | (#36830180)

I don't understand why an iPhone is necessary here. Surely they could have included all the necessary components an iPhone would provide and it would even be cheaper. Sounds like unnecessary baggage tied in to look more trendy. Since when do police apartments need to look trendy?

Re:What a waste. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36830242)

The issue here, is the $3k part is a relatively low volume item. If iphone's were sold in such a low volume they might be $30,000 a piece since you have to recover the r&d.

Re:What a waste. (1)

Compaqt (1758360) | more than 3 years ago | (#36830568)

You didn't catch the Slashdot story on the Army issuing iPhones to soldiers, did you? Everybody's enamored of the things.

Re:What a waste. (0)

tompaulco (629533) | more than 3 years ago | (#36831094)

So let me get this straight. I can't afford an iphone, but taxes are being taken from my meager paycheck in order to give them to police officers and soldiers?

Re:What a waste. (4, Insightful)

VirginMary (123020) | more than 3 years ago | (#36831522)

So let me get this straight. I can't afford an iphone, but taxes are being taken from my meager paycheck in order to give them to police officers and soldiers?

You probably can't afford a tank or fighter plane either and taxes are taken from your paycheck in order to give them to soldiers. What's your point?

Why the rush to identify the suspect? (2)

joelsanda (619660) | more than 3 years ago | (#36830198)

An iris scan, which detects unique patterns in a person's eyes, can reduce to seconds the time it takes to identify a suspect in custody.

Why is it so important to reduce the amount of time to seconds to identify a suspect? At this point, when you're taking a picture of a suspect's eye, the person is either freely cooperating or has been beaten down and is cuffed and forced to cooperate. And the cops already had a good idea of who they were after (at least in some, but admittedly not all) cases.

Before this is seen as solving a problem I think we need to know how long it takes to identify a suspect now, and what happens in the time allegedly saved with the old system and new one?

Finally, this will only work if you're already in the system, right? So it will only reduce time on those folks that have already been caught, had their picture taken, and are then caught again by a cop with this application in a jurisdiction where the cop can access the data?

Re:Why the rush to identify the suspect? (1)

Fnord666 (889225) | more than 3 years ago | (#36830316)

Finally, this will only work if you're already in the system, right? So it will only reduce time on those folks that have already been caught, had their picture taken, and are then caught again by a cop with this application in a jurisdiction where the cop can access the data?

Ever take an eye exam while renewing your driver's license? Your iris scans may already be on file!

Re:Why the rush to identify the suspect? (1)

joelsanda (619660) | more than 3 years ago | (#36830370)

Ever take an eye exam while renewing your driver's license? Your iris scans may already be on file!

That's just it - I can't remember ever having an exchange with a county, city, state or federal agency where I had a measurement like that taken. Height and weight? Self-reported by me for my driver's license and passport. Never divulged blood type, and hair and eye color were also self-reported. Even may race was. Too bad I didn't use my last passport renewal (done in person) to see what I could have gotten away with :-)

That's not to say the tin-foil crowd won't claim my optometrist gave my eye exam details to a goon-in-a-suit, but that's not likely. I'm not claiming HIPPA will 'protect' any 'rights' I have in that regard, I just think it's a narrow population that will be in the system. Well, at least for now ... who knows what the next few years will bring ...

Re:Why the rush to identify the suspect? (1)

Fnord666 (889225) | more than 3 years ago | (#36830826)

That's just it - I can't remember ever having an exchange with a county, city, state or federal agency where I had a measurement like that taken

I am in Ohio and when you renew your driver's license they require you to take a rudimentary vision test. It takes a minute or two but it would be a perfect time to acquire this information if you happen to be a member of the tinfoil hat crowd.

Re:Why the rush to identify the suspect? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36830920)

Mine involved a mirror and a dusty 30 year old backlit sign. The photo was taken on a logitech webcam. Maybe they just want me to think they don't have an equipment budget.

Re:Why the rush to identify the suspect? (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 3 years ago | (#36830402)

Why is it so important to reduce the amount of time to seconds to identify a suspect? At this point, when you're taking a picture of a suspect's eye, the person is either freely cooperating or has been beaten down and is cuffed and forced to cooperate.

'Reducing the time to identify' is merely a byproduct. The next step will be to incorporate this into the routine DWI roadblocks.

Years ago, a roadblock on the street to stop everyone would have been laughed at. Years from now, 'Look into the camera' will be commonplace. They might even say 'Please'.

Re:Why the rush to identify the suspect? (1)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 3 years ago | (#36830560)

Ya I was thinking the same thing, incorporating them into the road blocks. Now pick up at that can!

Re:Why the rush to identify the suspect? (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36830624)

So that I don't have to spend the night in jail because you raped your social worker and we have the same haircut.

Scanning suspects (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 3 years ago | (#36830210)

Remember, that as a *suspect* you can be scanned, cataloged and the records kept forever, even if its found that you have no part of the crime being investigated.

Its not just criminals.

Re:Scanning suspects (1)

straponego (521991) | more than 3 years ago | (#36830264)

How long until they scrape Facebook photos to build their database? After all, anything that's detectable in public is fair game.

Re:Scanning suspects (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 3 years ago | (#36830358)

Umm a few years ago...

Re:Scanning suspects (1)

straponego (521991) | more than 3 years ago | (#36830400)

I was going to say negative numbers are accepted. I also meant to say "iris database". Most current images probably do not have the resolution for that; but give it a year or two.

Better not be doing it without consent. (2)

dannymac63 (943398) | more than 3 years ago | (#36830226)

If a civilian did this to a police officer they'd be arrested for wiretapping.

Re:Better not be doing it without consent. (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 3 years ago | (#36830878)

The world is a very backward place where police are using wiretapping laws against citizens..

Re:Better not be doing it without consent. (1)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 3 years ago | (#36830908)

I'm fairly certain that if you used an electronic device to identify a police officer based on their facial appearance or iris scan, you wouldn't be accused of wiretapping. I won't claim that you won't be accused of *anything*, but certainly not wiretapping.

Re:Better not be doing it without consent. (1)

Patent Lover (779809) | more than 3 years ago | (#36831350)

Yes you will. Any picture taken of a police officer is now wiretapping.

Re:Better not be doing it without consent. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36831670)

Since their names are usually pinned to their shirts, what are most likely to find yourself accused of is stupidity.

Whew (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36830260)

God bless Canada, where the government still has some respect for its citizens' privacy and it's country's laws.

Re:Whew (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36830290)

and it's country's laws.

And, I hope, at least part of the population still ha's some re'spect for it's apostrophe's.

Just bite the bullet and get some ID cards already (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36830274)

Not only you'll enjoy better protection from identity theft (lol SSNs), but these silly schemes will become unnecessary.

No, just bite the bullet and tattoo bar code (1)

Lead Butthead (321013) | more than 3 years ago | (#36830518)

Just drop all pretense and laser burn bar code onto everyone's forehead already.We're nothing but numbers to them anyhow.

Facial Recognition Screws With the Wrong Man (3, Informative)

Coolhand2120 (1001761) | more than 3 years ago | (#36830292)

That's great, except for when it's not:
From gizmodo [gizmodo.com] :

Technology may be a pivot for many of our lives, but it's not exactly infallible. A Massachusetts man learnt that the hard way, after his driver's license was flagged as a fake on the police system, due to a facial-recognition error.

It seems John H. Gass looks rather similar to another Massachusetts driver, causing the system to revoke his license after figuring his must be the fake. Rather than head down to the DVLA to sort out the problem, he was instead banned from driving for two weeks, and only won it back after he managed to prove he was who he said he was. Worse yet, it's estimated another 1,000 drivers faced a similar problem last year.

The facial recognition software that the state of Massachusetts uses is identical to the one 34 other states use, paving the way for many more opportunities of mistaken identity for the future.

Re:Facial Recognition Screws With the Wrong Man (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 3 years ago | (#36830466)

This is not just facial recognition, but face, iris, and fingerprinting. I can't speak for this device in particular, but if inaccuracy is your only objection, get ready to embrace the technology, because multi-modal systems like this should be extremely accurate, soon if not already. (Even before portable DNA matching comes along, which it will).

Re:Facial Recognition Screws With the Wrong Man (5, Informative)

KahabutDieDrake (1515139) | more than 3 years ago | (#36830890)

Not it will not. Portable DNA matching? You have been watching a little too much CSI my friend. It still takes a lab full of equipment, consumables and trained professionals to create a DNA profile and compare it to a sample or database. Even then, it's not nearly as accurate as you've been lied to believe. See, they don't actually sequence your DNA that would take too long, so they only do a profile. Which, while it might match a sample from the crime scene, it does not positively identify any one person. Only a class of people.

For instance, if the sample from the crime scene came from a white male of non-jewish decent, then that sample profile will match something like 15% of all white males of non-jewish decent. Even more, it will match all the males in a particular blood line. (depending on sample).

Re:Facial Recognition Screws With the Wrong Man (5, Informative)

pipedwho (1174327) | more than 3 years ago | (#36831140)

Mod parent up.

DNA testing is far more useful to prove exclusion with great confidence, because the 'match' size is only one to one. But - that does NOT mean we can extend this methodology to prove a positive match against a database with thousands of random entries. If a sample does not match the suspect, then it can generally be shown that the sample did NOT originate from the suspect - the inverse however, is not necessarily true.

When samples do match to some degree, it can only be shown that there is some likelihood that a sample came from the suspect - a likelihood that is completely dependent on the search criteria and database size when matching the sample to a list of 'suspects'. The bigger the database, the less reliable the result.

For example, if a there are three unrelated people in a room, and I take a sample from each one of them, then a lab could determine with extreme confidence which sample goes with which person. If I do the same with 10000 random people in the room, the probability of correctly identifying a given sample falls dramatically - in fact, it is likely that the sample will 'match' hundreds of people.

As can be seen from the above examples, Gataca / [insert favourite TV crime show] style DNA matching is still far from realistic with current technology.

Re:Facial Recognition Screws With the Wrong Man (1)

DrKyle (818035) | more than 3 years ago | (#36831816)

Wow, and to think I wasted 8 years in grad school getting my PhD in genetics and didn't figure out the scam which is DNA testing. Thanks so much for being smarter than everyone else. If Alec Jeffreys was dead I'm sure he'd be rolling in his grave.

What happens (3, Interesting)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 3 years ago | (#36830540)

What happens if I refuse to open my eyes for the required scan? Is it resisting arrest? can closing your eyes during an arrest be considered resisting? Will they mace me to get my eyes open? and won't that effect the scan?

Re:What happens (0)

Noodlenoggin (1295699) | more than 3 years ago | (#36830616)

What did you do to require being iris scanned in the first place?
If you're honestly innocent, then is it not in your best interest to work with the officers to prove that innocence rather than being all beligerent and generally making everyone days miserable.
I seriously don't get people who piss and moan about this stuff, without taking into consideration all of the actual good that can come from it.

Re:What happens (1)

KahabutDieDrake (1515139) | more than 3 years ago | (#36830894)

That was a fabulous typo. It corrected the misconception you seem to have about police.

Re:What happens (5, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#36831060)

You pre-suppose that I did anything.

If I am randomly stopped by a police officer who wishes to take an iris scan, this isn't about me being innocent and 'working with the police to prove my innocence' ... This completely violates the assumption that I am innocent in the first place. On what basis have you established that I might not be innocent? Because you don't like my hat?

I seriously don't get people who think it is natural that I should subject myself to being arbitrarily catalogued and identified on the whim of some cop with a shiny gadget.

There used to be a presumption that I was free to go about my business, until a police officer had probable cause. In your version of things, random stops and 'papers please' becomes the norm ... This is not what a free society does.

What you are effectively saying is "think of the children" ... The mistaken belief that we should allwaive our rights so that the nebulous concept of "the greater good" can be served.

Fuck that.

Police don't get to walk up to me on the street and 'suggest' that I allow myself to be fingerprinted ... WTF is different about this just because it s fast and automated?

If you don't get this, you are part of the problem.

SCMODS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36830592)

Oh no! They have SCMODS!

crystal jewelry (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36830644)

The smartphone-based scanner, named Mobile Offender Recognition and Information System, or MORIS, is made by BI2 Technologies in Plymouth, Massachusetts, and can be deployed by officers out on the beat or back at the station. An iris scan, which detects unique patterns in a person's eyes, can reduce to seconds the time it takes to identify a suspect in custody.

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Same rules as being Fingerprinted? (1)

krelvin (771644) | more than 3 years ago | (#36830654)

I would think that the same rules in effect for getting fingerprinted should apply. I don't recall police running around finger printing people unless they have been named a suspect, charged, etc.. Normally part of the booking process.

To allow an officer to scan you when he would not have normally been able to get you fingerprinted would be wrong.

City of Tampa tried it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36830674)

The City of Tampa, Florida tried using "facial recognition" software in the Ybor City night club district several years ago. After about a 1 year trial period it was discarded as being too unreliable. I can see this being used until the wrong person is arrested and brings a huge law suit against the municipality and that will be the end of it. Not to mention religions such as the Amish who do not want their pictures taken.

Obligatory... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36830714)

No way this will be abused.

MORIS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36830904)

In a stroke of engineering tour de force, law enforcement now has the tool necessary to disseminate in real time, the racial description of any suspect. Whilst in the past, society was burdened with vague generic description such as 5'10", average build, now descriptions will be in the form of 5'10", average build, NEGRO, for example.

Wow nice scare headline (1)

Legal.Troll (2002574) | more than 3 years ago | (#36830986)

making it sound like the police were going to tap into people's iPhones and implant and operate an app that surreptitiously photographed them and recognized their face

Why iphone? (2)

tompaulco (629533) | more than 3 years ago | (#36831136)

Why not just make the device USB based so they can scan it into their existing mobile and office hardware. Then they can save $600 AND $100 a month in data plan charges.
No, that's still going to be too expensive relative to the additional safety provided to citizens. Just scrap the whole idea.

Good luck... (1)

Patent Lover (779809) | more than 3 years ago | (#36831344)

Good luck if it's an iPhone 3GS that constantly shuts down when running anything more intensive than email.

Why do these things cost $3k apiece? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36831678)

Is it gold plated?
I wish it would be illegal for governments to spend money wastefully!

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