Police Get iPhone Facial-Recognition Add-On, Ignites Privacy Concerns

Jul 13, 2011
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Police Get iPhone Facial-Recognition Add-On, Ignites Privacy Concerns

Police in the US may soon be getting an iPhone add-on that will equip them with a facial recognition technology called MORIS (Mobile Offender Recognition and Information System). The device attaches to an iPhone like a case and allows the police to take a photo of a person to determine if they are a suspect or have a criminal history.

The MORIS device, developed by Bl2 Technologies, has a retinal scanner and can take a photo of a person from as far as five feet away. It then automatically checks the prison databases and may eventually include state and country-wide police databases, including those from the FBI and DMV.

This news has obviously raised concerns on privacy, government surveillance issues, and the potential for abuse if the technology got into the wrong hands. People still fear that their personal information could be easily accessed without them knowing simply by an officer snapping a quick photo.

About 1000 MORIS devices will be deployed to 40 police organizations by September, each costing $3000. They will also be made available to Android devices soon.

[via WSJ]


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