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Police To Begin iPhone Iris Scans 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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Police To Begin iPhone Iris Scans

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  • And Lemme Guess... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by The O Rly Factor ( 1977536 ) on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @07:51PM (#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.
  • by TWX ( 665546 ) on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @07:58PM (#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.

  • by The O Rly Factor ( 1977536 ) on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @08:00PM (#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.
  • by interkin3tic ( 1469267 ) on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @08:01PM (#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.
  • by Mr. Freeman ( 933986 ) on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @08:32PM (#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.
  • by TWX ( 665546 ) on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @08:33PM (#36830390)

    Take a picture of someone, fine.

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

  • by flaming error ( 1041742 ) on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @08:47PM (#36830474) Journal

    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:What happens (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @10:21PM (#36831060) Homepage

    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.

  • Re:What a waste. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by VirginMary ( 123020 ) on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @11:59PM (#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?

  • by protektor ( 63514 ) on Thursday July 21, 2011 @02:20AM (#36832000)

    People forget what the founding fathers said about rights. They said that all rights come from God or the people or a higher power or whatever. Right absolutely do not come from the government in any way shape or form. You have every right you were born with, unless that right is specifically taken away. I do not see any laws passed or things added to the US Constitution that says I have to give up my right to privacy. So until such a law is passed by the majority of the people, I will always have my right to privacy and it doesn't come from the government to allow me the right to privacy. You have to understand what the US Constitution actually is, what it is crafted to do, and what powers and rights it gives to the Federal government. It also helps if you read the federalist papers, the letters and such written around that time, and the Constitutional Congress minutes to get an idea of what they were trying to do. You might want to look at what was going on in Europe and how it was run to get an idea of how they were trying to do things differently.

To do two things at once is to do neither. -- Publilius Syrus