This is quite scary. Basically, the city of 1 million people is installing iris scanners across the entire city in public places. The city will index the iris scans of every criminal, and if a criminal walks past a scanner, he will be flagged and the authorities will be alerted. Additionally, the scanners will track people as they travel across the city.
Here is the story From Fast Company:
Biometrics R&D firm Global Rainmakers Inc. (GRI) announced today that it is rolling out its iris scanning technology to create what it calls “the most secure city in the world.” In a partnership with Leon — one of the largest cities in Mexico, with a population of more than a million — GRI will fill the city with eye-scanners. That will help law enforcement revolutionize the way we live — not to mention marketers.
Leon is the first step. To implement the system, the city is creating a database of irises. Criminals will automatically be enrolled, their irises scanned once convicted. Law-abiding citizens will have the option to opt-in.
When these residents catch a train or bus, or take out money from an ATM, they will scan their irises, rather than swiping a metro or bank card. Police officers will monitor these scans and track the movements of watch-listed individuals. “Fraud, which is a $50 billion problem, will be completely eradicated,” says Carter. Not even the “dead eyeballs” seen in Minority Report could trick the system, he says. “If you’ve been convicted of a crime, in essence, this will act as a digital scarlet letter. If you’re a known shoplifter, for example, you won’t be able to go into a store without being flagged. For others, boarding a plane will be impossible.”
From now on your iris is your digital scarlet letter.
Law-abiding citizens will have the “option to opt-in”–for now. Let’s see how long before opt-in becomes mandatory.
For such a Big Brother-esque system, why would any law-abiding resident ever volunteer to scan their irises into a public database, and sacrifice their privacy? GRI hopes that the immediate value the system creates will alleviate any concern. “There’s a lot of convenience to this–you’ll have nothing to carry except your eyes,” says Carter, claiming that consumers will no longer be carded at bars and liquor stores. And he has a warning for those thinking of opting out: “When you get masses of people opting-in, opting out does not help. Opting out actually puts more of a flag on you than just being part of the system. We believe everyone will opt-in.”
Gizmodo has more about this scary phenomenon:
Imagine a public eye scanner that can identify 50 people per minute, in motion. Now imagine that the government install these scanner systems all across an entire city. Or don’t imagine it, because it’s already happening, right now.
There are different kinds of machines being installed across Leon, from large scanners—capable of identifying 50 people per minute in motion— to smaller ones—like the EyeSwipe in the video above—that range from 15 to 30 people per minute. These devices are being installed in public places, like train and bus stations, and connected to a database that will track people across the city.
According to Jeff Carter, the Chief Development Officer of Global Rainmakers, the producer of this technology:
the future, whether it’s entering your home, opening your car, entering your workspace, getting a pharmacy prescription refilled, or having your medical records pulled up, everything will come off that unique key that is your iris. Every person, place, and thing on this planet will be connected within the next 10 years.
Can’t wait till Google finds out about this. Omniveillance fail.