Fingerprinting is So Last Year

Goodbye fingerprinting, hello iris scans.

Fingerprinting a suspect is so last year. Arapahoe County [Colorado]Sheriff Grayson Robinson unveiled new technology today that will allow officials to scan an arrestee's iris and within seconds get all the pertinent information about the person.

Funding comes from a $10,000 grant from the National Sheriffs' Association. Arapahoe County is the first recipient to install the program. Why they love it: [More...]

A person's iris, which is basically the colored part of the eye, develops in the womb and through the first year of life. After that, it doesn't change and can't be altered, unlike fingerprints...It is also more accurate than retina scanning because the retina can get diseased and change over time.

40 states will be using it and the data will go into a national database.

The project was created to secure a national database through the use of Iris Recognition Biometric Technology.

They don't just plan to use it on criminal offenders.

The sheriff's departments plans to hold fairs and other events to offer them to children and the elderly.

That's in case they get lost.

What's next?

One day in the not-so-distant future, a police officer using a smart phone will be able to scan the iris of a person, who, say, the officer runs into under suspicious circumstances. Within seconds the information would appear on the phone.

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    I hate this (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Zorba on Fri Feb 05, 2010 at 04:40:55 PM EST
    Iris scans and retina scans.  Fingerprinting everyone they can.  "Real ID" drivers' licenses. The FBI and other law enforcement wanting even more powers to snoop on our computer usage, taking DNA samples of those arrested (and if you believe that they "always" destroy your DNA if you are not convicted, I've got a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you....), all the Patriot Act snooping.  Why don't they just insert an electronic chip in us when we're born, so they can track us our whole lives?  Not that I want to give them any ideas they don't already have.  I am increasingly being reminded of 1984, although even more technologically sophisticated.

    I'm answering myself (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Zorba on Fri Feb 05, 2010 at 05:16:39 PM EST
    Because I just discussed this with Mr. Zorba.  He's a molecular biologist, and he thinks the next big thing in ID won't be micro-chipping, but instant (or near-instant) DNA analysis.  Folks, just say good-bye to any privacy whatsoever.  It's not going to get any better.

    Yes but they will need to... (none / 0) (#13)
    by desertswine on Fri Feb 05, 2010 at 05:47:09 PM EST
    track your movements as well.

    They'll be able to track (none / 0) (#14)
    by Zorba on Fri Feb 05, 2010 at 05:57:30 PM EST
    your movements when we're all required to carry an "internal passport" at all times, which we will be required to show to any law enforcement official at any time, for any reason.  This passport will have your picture, your fingerprints, your retinal and iris scans, and your DNA "fingerprint."  Oh, and it will also have "the chip."  Since you'll have to carry it on your person at all times, they may not have to chip you, personally.  And don't forget the monitoring cameras, which will be everywhere.  (Ugh.  We need a new planet to migrate to.)

    They can track your movements now (none / 0) (#20)
    by shoephone on Fri Feb 05, 2010 at 07:12:31 PM EST
    if you are carrying a "smart phone" on you.

    Nope, (none / 0) (#21)
    by Zorba on Fri Feb 05, 2010 at 07:22:51 PM EST
    I don't have one- my cell phone is truly ancient, can't do much of anything (except make and receive calls), and I hardly ever have it on.

    Microchipping is the next logical step... (none / 0) (#7)
    by desertswine on Fri Feb 05, 2010 at 04:47:55 PM EST
    It's already done for farm and zoo animals. Can people be far behind.

    Won't even have to... (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by kdog on Fri Feb 05, 2010 at 05:04:38 PM EST
    we are all volunteering to carry around a chip at all times.  Once everybody starts paying for sh*t with their phones its over.

    Please help me y'all...never stop using cash no matter how inconvenient it becomes.  I don't want a bank account:)


    Kdog, I have a friend (none / 0) (#11)
    by Zorba on Fri Feb 05, 2010 at 05:25:30 PM EST
    who refuses to use a regular credit card for anything (although he does have a bank account, at a small credit union, for those few times when it is just easier to use a check- he won't use their debit/ATM card).  He uses pre-paid credit cards if he needs to, or money orders, if he must.  Other than that, he uses cash.  He has a pre-paid cell phone, which he never turns on except to make a call (mostly emergency or urgent stuff).  He also refuses to sign up for any of the store cards that are supposed to give you discounts.  We all think he's kind of strange (endearing, but strange), but he may have a good point, as do you.

    tell your friend he's wasting (none / 0) (#26)
    by cpinva on Sat Feb 06, 2010 at 02:38:21 AM EST
    his creative time. pretty much anywhere public he goes already has him on record, even if he's using cash.

    video cameras are ubiquitous, and on everywhere. if he buys gas (assuming he has a vehicle), his picture and tag have been filmed at the pump.


    My reasons... (none / 0) (#27)
    by kdog on Sat Feb 06, 2010 at 09:14:44 AM EST
    for being the spitting image of Zorba's pal aren't the purchases being tracked so much.  

    More that I don't want outfits I'm not particulary fond of (banks and Visa) making money off the sweat of my labor if I can avoid it. And if we ever went to a cashless society, how do ya beat them if there is a dispute?  Theoretically, in a cashless society, your entire nut could be wiped out with a stroke of a key, or frozen at the stroke of a key.  With cash I know you gotta at least have the balls to break into my house or rip it from hands to steal it from me. I kinda look at it as surrendering your sovereignty to the bankers who'd steal their momma's last nickel.  

    There are downsides...no getting a tv today that I can't pay for yet...but thats ok, good things come to those who wait.  Forget about getting a hotel room these days without a cc...ask the clerk if they'll take a cash deposit they look at you like you're a martian. For hotels I bit the bullet and got a prepaid.  All in all avoiding the banks whenever possible has worked for me...I just hope cashless don't come for 30 years.  If we're paying for purchases by eyescan I'm going pirate:)


    *Sigh* (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Zorba on Fri Feb 05, 2010 at 05:08:28 PM EST
    Probably not, desertswine, probably not.  And it will be sold to the public as a "safety" measure, both to "protect" us from "infiltration" by "terrorists" and to "protect" our children from being stolen away by nefarious characters.  Oh, I can just see the appeals now:  "But think of the children!  Won't somebody think of the children?"  (I am not minimizing child abduction in any way, shape, or form, but the vast majority of these cases are parental abductions, or runaways, both of which are traumatic for the child, but not the same thing as stranger abduction).

    Those are the same reasons... (none / 0) (#12)
    by desertswine on Fri Feb 05, 2010 at 05:46:10 PM EST
    we will lose internet freedom.

    I'm afraid so (none / 0) (#15)
    by Zorba on Fri Feb 05, 2010 at 05:59:16 PM EST
    Terrorism, and child pornography.

    That eyeball is freakin' me out... (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by Anne on Fri Feb 05, 2010 at 06:06:31 PM EST
    as is the policy.

    Is there some point at which the people will stand up and say, "enough?"

    Or have we all just been terrorized into submission by the non-stop scare-fest?

    Sherlock (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by lentinel on Fri Feb 05, 2010 at 08:01:14 PM EST
    Don't touch anything.
    I want to get the iris prints off the glass.

    Oh no, not again... (none / 0) (#1)
    by kdog on Fri Feb 05, 2010 at 03:12:54 PM EST
    The sheriff's departments plans to hold fairs and other events to offer them to children and the elderly.

    I remember during the child abduction hysteria of the 1980's, the cops came to my school to print all the kids "for their protection".  I still bust my moms chops to this day for consenting to that...even though the database ended up getting a couple sets anyway in adulthood:)

    I assume, like Krazy Glue or slicing cuts in your fingertips to distort your print, there will be a way to distort the eyescan.  Colored contacts maybe?  And I wonder how the police will deal with people who physically resist..easier to force a guys hand into ink and onto paper than force them to keep their eyes open and facing the scanner...I wonder if we will see them using a contraption like they used on Alex in "A Clockwork Orange" to make him watch the viddys.

    We're all droogs now... (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Feb 05, 2010 at 03:42:07 PM EST

    Another critical target is behavioural psychology (popular ca. 1940-60s), as propounded by the psychologists John B. Watson and B. F. Skinner. Novelist Burgess disapproved of behaviourism, calling Skinner's most popular book, Beyond Freedom and Dignity (1971), "one of the most dangerous books ever written".[7] The film's Ludovico technique is widely perceived as a parody of behaviorist-based aversion therapy.[8] Although Watson conceded behaviourism's limitations, Skinner argued that behaviour modification (systematic reward-and-punishment learned behaviour techniques, which differs from Watsonian conditioning) is the key to an ideal society (see the 1948 utopian novel Walden Two). Dr. Ludovico's behaviourist technique of conditioning Alex to associate violence with severe physical sickness, to curb his violent nature is akin to the CIA's Project MKULTRA of the 1950s. Dr. Ludovico's behaviourist technique is based on classical conditioning, which is not quite the same as with B. F. Skinner's operant conditioning.



    Yes, my first thought was of little Alex as well. (none / 0) (#23)
    by allimom99 on Fri Feb 05, 2010 at 07:57:13 PM EST
    Yeah, Minority Report... (none / 0) (#2)
    by desertswine on Fri Feb 05, 2010 at 03:25:01 PM EST
    Tom Cruise had to use the eyeball of a dead gut to get past a secure door. I think, I could be mis-remembering.

    Dead guy, that is... (none / 0) (#3)
    by desertswine on Fri Feb 05, 2010 at 03:25:25 PM EST
    Its scary... (none / 0) (#4)
    by kdog on Fri Feb 05, 2010 at 03:28:43 PM EST
    how close we're getting to a similar dystopia.  I just hope the worst of it comes after I'm dead and buried...30 years or so, think I'm gonna make it? With the way technology is developing, and human development still moving at a snails pace, the odds ain't lookin' good.

    His own eyeball (none / 0) (#28)
    by ricosuave on Sun Feb 07, 2010 at 07:42:57 AM EST
    He had the dead guy's eyeballs implanted so he could walk around and not get recognized by all the iris scanners.  He used his own eyeballs, preserved in a baggie for him, to get into the secure building.

    Can they see into your soul though? (none / 0) (#17)
    by Salo on Fri Feb 05, 2010 at 06:13:23 PM EST

    Silly question time (none / 0) (#18)
    by nyjets on Fri Feb 05, 2010 at 06:47:20 PM EST
    At least when they collect DNA and fingerprints, in theory, this can be done to link a suspect to past crimes (or possible future crimes the suspect may commit.) I fail to understand how collecting iris scans will accomplish this goal and would be a worthwhile endeavor.
    I mean, in terms of setting up a security system, it would make sense, but not in crime fighting.

    Instant identification? (none / 0) (#19)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Feb 05, 2010 at 06:59:24 PM EST
    Hashcodes (none / 0) (#30)
    by ricosuave on Sun Feb 07, 2010 at 08:07:48 AM EST
    When you are managing a large amount of data, you usually sue an algorithm called a "hash" to boil an item down to one single unique number called a hashcode.  The hashcode for a data set should always be the same for the same group of data.  Iris scanning will work on this principal...every time you scan the iris you should obtain a single code that you can compare to what they have on file to pull up your info.

    Think of the code from your iris as a built-in social security number, but better.  Every time your iris is scanned, the scanner should spit out the same number.  So the cops will have no question that your iris is the same one that they scanned 6 months before or 10 years before when they pulled you over.  They (and anyone else) can tie whatever information they like to your iris scan id.  There is no need to match your drivers license number to the one you had ten years ago or to your credit history in another state.  No confusion on no-fly lists with multiple people having the same name (and probably no easier time getting off the no-fly list once you get on).  And no getting a new id number when you are a victim of identity theft.

    Maybe they can build a fully automated dual speed-gun/iris scanner that works through windshields! When does the ban on driving with sunglasses on start?


    Minority Report baby (none / 0) (#22)
    by pluege on Fri Feb 05, 2010 at 07:28:08 PM EST
    its here.

    There's a flip side to this coin (none / 0) (#25)
    by mcl on Fri Feb 05, 2010 at 10:19:56 PM EST
    With this ability to track everyone and scan everyone and record every transaction, our political ruling will eviscerate itself in an orgy of self-destructive mutual Lewinsky scandals.

    Every transaction even remotely dodgy will get leaked to the news media. Every pol will become the target of covert smears, getting shredded with questionable leaked GPS tracking data. There won't be anyone left standing.

    Our ruling elite think this zero privacy stuff is great for the peons, but they don't seem to realize it's gonna get turned on them too. You can just foresee the new buzzwords -- instead of paparazzi, we'll have trackerazzi...

    The big advantage for the cops (none / 0) (#29)
    by ricosuave on Sun Feb 07, 2010 at 07:54:03 AM EST
    is not the speed at which they can get a response to the scan, it is the fact that your irises are outside your body and can be seen/scanned without getting any kind of permission or even contact.  It is like having your social security number tattooed on your forehead--anyone that sees your face can ID you.

    Remember that obstinate guy in Arizona(?) a few years ago that refused to fork over his drivers license to a cop a few years ago?  If I rememer right, the supreme court ruled that they couldn't demand id if they didn't accuse him of doing anything wrong.  That's out the window.

    By the way...my fingerprints first got on file when I was at a youth group convention and we were all fingerprinted as part of a missing child program.  Collecting iris scans on masses of people should be even easier than that.