Screw fingerprints. That’s so 2009. That’s the attitude the Homeland Security Dept. is taking in Mexico, where it will be testing out a new iris-scanning technology that it claims is faster than old-fashioned fingerprinting.
For two weeks in October, Homeland Security will be running tests on the scanners, which store digital images of your irises in a database, at a Border Patrol station in McAllen, TX.
In addition to being faster than fingerprints, the device allows for people to be scanned from 3-4 feet away. Homeland Security will also be testing a camera that scans people as they walk past the camera.
“The test will help us determine how viable this is for potential (department) use in the future,” a rep for the Dept. explained.
The ACLU isn’t exactly thrilled about the idea of using these scanners:
If you can identify any individual at a distance and without their knowledge, you literally allow the physical tracking of a person anywhere there’s a camera and access to the Internet.
A previous generation of iris scanners was used from 2005 to 2008 in about 20 U.S. airports to identify passengers in the Registered Traveler program, who could skip to the front of security lines.
Homeland Security to test iris scanners [USA Today]