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July 14, 2011

Smile You're on Biometric Camera!

Photo The Wall Street Journal reported that police agencies in several states are getting biometric technology attached to iPhone that can recognize faces, scan irises and collect fingerprints. Made by BI2 Technologies, this device can scan the suspect and then query different databases for matches. The technology can also be used to identify missing children and sex offenders.  

The technology goes beyond law enforcement and could also be used by retailers, etc. to profile customers as they walk in the door. Biometric intelligence and identification technology for facial profiling has obvious privacy and constitutional issues that need to be sorted out by the courts.  For now, the next time you see a law enforcement officer holding an iphone up to you, be sure to smile, because your on biometric camera!!



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The Fourth Amendment question will be when can police compel someone to provide fingerprint scan? My quick answer is probably two situations: (1) in those situations, like a traffic stop, when police are already permitted to ask for identification; and (2) under situations like a Terry stop, when there is reasonable suspicion of criminal activity.

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