CRIMEARE U.S. COPS PREPARING WIDESPREAD USE OF FACIAL RECOGNITION IPHONE?
Starting as early as September, cops across the country may be using a new iphone-based device to identify people based on a picture of their face, iris scan, or a fingerprint reader, raising concerns about how the data will be gathered, stored, and used.
The device in question is called the MORIS, which stands for Mobile Offender Recognition and Information System. Made by BI2 Technologies of Plymouth, Mass, it runs on the iphone platform. The company states that it has contracts with 40 government agencies to deliver 1,000 devices this fall.
Unlike other currently used biometric technologies, the MORIS does not require a separate digital camera or upload time, and automatically scans known databases for criminal warrants and other relevant history. The Wall Street Journal gives specifics on how this new device works:
“To scan a person’s iris, police officers can hold the special iris-scanning camera on device, called MORIS, about 5 to 6 inches away from an individual’s irises. After snapping a high resolution photo, the MORIS system analyzes 235 unique features in each iris and uses an algorithm to match that person with their identity if they are in the database.”
“For the facial recognition, an officer takes a photo of a person at a distance of about 2 feet to 5 feet. Based on technologies from Animetrics Inc., the system analyzes about 130 distinguishing points on the face, such as the distance between a person’s eye and nose. It then scans the database for likely matches.”
As for the usage of the devices, the law does not appear settled on whether police need consent to take a person’s photo. Generally speaking, the law does not prohibit taking photos of people in a public place. But taking and storing photos for law enforcement purposes- particularly if the subject is in custody- could trigger a different standard of rules. The law becomes even more vague on issues such as whether an iris scan constitutes a search.
Below is a video presentation for the Brockton Police Department showing facial recognition and iris scanning technologies that have been demoed and will soon be in use by various law enforcement units in Massachusetts. The presenters show the devices, discuss the database, and describe the features designed to help law enforcement officers.
US Troops overseas have used a variety of biometric tools for years to vet allies and identify insurgents and terrorists. But the MORIS is poised to become the first widespread, mobile usage of such technology here in the US by local and federal law enforcement.
Law enforcement analysts believe the device could prevent the wrong inmates from obtaining prison release, to identify accident victims and keep track of the homeless. While there are many privacy and civil liberties concerns associated with law enforcement’s widespread use of facial recognition devices, the landscape of biometrics is already rapidly changing with programs such as Facebook Facial Recognition:
Source: the Blaze
Important info for anyone- just like “Minority Report” – please read the threads below as well.
After frantic calls and a hearing with Registry officials, Gass learned the problem: An antiterrorism computerized facial recognition system that scans a database of millions of state driver’s license images had picked his as a possible fraud.
It turned out Gass was flagged because he looks like another driver, not because his image was being used to create a fake identity. His driving privileges were returned but, he alleges in a lawsuit, only after 10 days of bureaucratic wrangling to prove he is who he says he is.
Boston Globe ^ | July 17, 2011 | Meghan E. Irons
John H. Gass hadn’t had a traffic ticket in years, so the Natick resident was surprised this spring when he received a letter from the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles informing him to cease driving because his license had been revoked. Tweet 4 people Tweeted this ShareThis “I was shocked,’’ Gass said in a recent interview. “As far as I was concerned, I had done nothing wrong.’’ After frantic calls and a hearing with Registry officials, Gass learned the problem: An antiterrorism computerized facial recognition system that scans a database of millions of state driver’s license images had picked his…
Police to Scan Faces and Eyes, Prompting Privacy Concerns
Palms have taken on a new meaning at some doctors’ offices and hospitals. More unique than fingerprints, palm readings are helping keep patients straight and safe.
Face.com has been used to tag over 25 billion faces in over 7 billion photos since launching in late 2007. Facebook users had been using the Face.com facial recognition app to tag friends in photos for two years before Facebook stepped on the Israel-based company’s toes by making facial recognition a default feature for photo tagging this year.
How to protect your mobile phone and computer from illegal police searches
The Electronic Frontier Foundation, long defenders of electronic rights, has written a legal guide – http://www.naturalnews.com/032985_illegal_searches_mobile_phones.html
(NaturalNews) The U.S. Constitution is clear about the issue of privacy. In fact, the Fourth Amendment states, in part, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated…”
With that in mind, it’s safe to say it’s more than just a little disturbing to know that, in certain circumstances, police can search your cell phone and computer(s), even if you don’t want them to and even if they don’t yet have a warrant to do so.
The good news is, someone out there has recognized the problem and has taken steps to help you protect that vast amount of data you have stored on your smart phone or laptop.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation, long defenders of electronic rights, has written a legal guide designed to help you better understand your rights and, more importantly, when police can – and cannot – legally confiscate and search your personal electronic devices.
“In the heat of the moment, it can be hard to remember what your rights are and how to exercise them,” says EFF Senior Staff Attorney Marcia Hofmann. “Sometimes police can search your computer whether you like it or not, but sometimes they can’t. We wrote this guide to help you tell the difference and to empower you to assert your rights when the police come knocking.”
Adds EFF Staff Attorney Hanni Fakhoury, “With smart phones, tablet computers, and laptops, we carry around with us an unprecedented amount of sensitive personal information.
“That smart phone in your pocket right now could contain email from your doctor or your kid’s teacher, not to mention detailed contact information for all of your friends and family members,” Fakhoury continued. “Your laptop probably holds even more data — your Internet browsing history, family photo albums, and maybe even things like an electronic copy of your taxes or your employment agreement. This is sensitive data that’s worth protecting from prying eyes.”
According to a summary of full EFF legal guide:
· Always say “no” when police ask if they can search your server, personal computer or cell phone because if you give them permission to search, they don’t need a warrant – even to enter your home;
· If police tell you they have a search warrant, ask to see it because you have a right to;
· Make sure police are only searching the areas outlined in the warrant;
· Be silent – you don’t have to help the police or answer their questions, and that means you don’t have to give them your encryption keys or passwords;
· If you do decide to talk, don’t lie because lying to the police is a crime;
· Finally, if you can consult with a lawyer before police conduct a search or even just talk to you, that’s ideal.
This guide is extremely helpful in this digital age when being secure in our “papers” and effects now includes our data-filled electronic devices. Know your rights; that is your best protection.
“ He who gives up their freedom for security, generally gets or deserves either!!” …Benjamin Franklin