Police departments across the United States are preparing to implement a controversial technology that scans the iris of the eye and the face in order to more effectively identify an individual or suspects.
The device simply slides on over the screen of an iPhone in order to scan a person’s face or iris. It is being referred to as biometric technology and is being used in the hopes that it will improve the accuracy and speed that is necessary for police officers to do their jobs while they’re in the field.
Though it may have significant benefits, this technology is also raising concerns among individuals who are worried over issues of privacy and civil liberties, which could potentially be violated through its use. They fear that officers may unnecessarily scan individuals, which can be intrusive to innocent people when it is intended for finding criminals. The manufacturer of the devices argues that this is unlikely as it would be difficult for police officers to accomplish.
The scanner is called a Mobile Offender Recognition and Information System (MORIS), and was designed and manufactured by a Plymouth, Massachusetts-based company called BI2 Technologies, in order to be used with smartphones for use by police officers working in the field or at the station.
Iris scans function by identifying a person’s unique eye patterns, similar to a fingerprint, and can minimize the time required for a suspect’s identification. In fact, this technology is considered to be more accurate than today’s fingerprinting abilities, which are one of the identification standards across the country.