Iris Scanners May Be The Newest Bit of Technology Used By Homeland Security

September 13, 2010

US (ChattahBox Technology News) – Officials at the Department of Homeland Security are working on an alternate to fingerprinting, which they say will be much more effective and quicker than the old process: iris scanning.

Starting in October, there will be two weeks of tests done with commercial iris scanners to offer a safer, more advanced approach to employee authorization into their headquarters.

“The test will help us determine how viable this is for potential (department) use in the future,” Arun Vemury of the Science and Technology branch of the federal offices told USA Today.

These scanners are part of a new wave of the technology, which are much more sophisticated than the older ones. They work by capturing images of the eyes from up to six feet away and scanning the image before running it through their database. The process takes a matter of seconds,  and could find potential trespassers much more effectively than the old scanners.

The scanners being tested won’t allow for such a range, but will still work from 3 to 4 feet.

Human rights and civil liberties groups have spoken out against the scanners, such as the ACLU, who say such technology could be applied secretly, to give means of covert monitoring of people within the building.

“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,” Christopher Calabrese, an attorney with the organization, commented.


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