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Looky Here
November 5, 2007 10:45 AM   Subscribe

Say hello to the newest police method for human identification: iris scanning. The Alameda County Sheriff's Office is preparing to become the first public agency in the Bay Area to scan the irises of convicted sex offenders.
posted by fandango_matt (31 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
What's next?

ATCGATTAGCTA?
posted by exlotuseater at 10:56 AM on November 5, 2007


Not secure.
posted by Terminal Verbosity at 10:57 AM on November 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


"Hello, John Anderton. Would you like to purchase a Hello Kitty vibrator?"
posted by fleetmouse at 10:59 AM on November 5, 2007


CONVICTED SEX OFFENDERS MUST BE PRINTED, IRISED, MEASURED, WEIGHED, PHOTOGRAPHED, WASHED, RINSED, BLEACHED, STERILIZED, EUNICHED, CASTRATED, TRACKED, IMPLANTED, BRANDED, BAR-CODED, AND SURVEYED!

When the 8th Amendment was enacted, the Founding Fathers could never have foreseen people having sex with people under the age of seventeen.
posted by flarbuse at 11:00 AM on November 5, 2007 [2 favorites]


whoa, Seems so science fictionish -and sinister in a Minority Report way. Had to google this. yikes!
On Wiki. More on the topic in general and covert use, more covert info. Iris scanners enroll in elementary school.

Iris Scanning, Now at JFK. At Amsterdam airport. In the UK.

Just learned, The iris is the only internal organ normally visible from outside the body.

The correct plural for iris is irides.

The other analysis of the iris, iridology.

An innocent iris scan.
posted by nickyskye at 11:02 AM on November 5, 2007


This article is full of puns and double meanings:

Within seconds, the officer would know if the person was a sex offender. "We're at the infancy of this whole thing," Nelson said.

The firm's scanners have also captured the eyes of children . . .

Robert Melley, the company's chief operating officer, said he saw a bright future for the scanners . . .

posted by brain_drain at 11:04 AM on November 5, 2007


posted by nickyskye Just learned, The iris is the only internal organ normally visible from outside the body.

What about testicles?
posted by fandango_matt at 11:05 AM on November 5, 2007


You can see your testicles? I don’t think that word means what you think it means.
posted by tepidmonkey at 11:07 AM on November 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


When the 8th Amendment was enacted, the Founding Fathers could never have foreseen people having sex with people under the age of seventeen.

What's cruel or unusual about taking a picture of someone's eyeballs?
posted by DU at 11:12 AM on November 5, 2007


The skin is the only external organ visible from inside the body.
posted by DU at 11:13 AM on November 5, 2007


What about testicles?

Are testicles internal? I thought they were external genitalia. huh. Looks from Wiki like they are internal genitalia, visible externally. Dang, the things one learns here.
posted by nickyskye at 11:21 AM on November 5, 2007


Man, I'm all in favor of the Irish being scanned. That'll put a stop to their schemes to keep their Lucky Charms away from the rest of us.
posted by lord_wolf at 11:22 AM on November 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


The other analysis of the iris, iridology.

Which means that, since the iris does not change after birth, whatever affliction your iridologist diagnosed you with has been with you since the womb.

Or, alternatively, iridology is yet another quack medicine.
posted by splice at 11:31 AM on November 5, 2007


I hate to be the guy who can’t stop talking about balls, but the scrotum is the part that’s visible. Testicles are internal, and if you can see them, someone’s either dead or screaming bloody murder.
posted by tepidmonkey at 11:34 AM on November 5, 2007


tepidmonkey writes "Testicles are internal, and if you can see them, someone’s either dead or screaming bloody murder."

Or they've managed to install a clever little window! Now that would be a body modification accomplishment worth talking about....
posted by mr_roboto at 11:37 AM on November 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


Iris scanning is in just about every canadian airport as part of the CANPASS program. Same thing as they have in Amsterdam. Same thing for the NEXUS program that is joint between Canada and the US.

It may not be perfect, but it's got to be better than those old palm scanners they used for the US INSPASS lanes in Canadian airports. Those things got thrown off by being a but sweaty or greasy. At least a donut doesn't throw off your iris scan.
posted by GuyZero at 11:41 AM on November 5, 2007


I think whenever they want to introduce some questionable technology against criminals, they start with sex offenders so that there's no riots over it -- people are afraid of defending pedophiles, even if it's an issue that will eventually affect everyone.
posted by spiderskull at 11:46 AM on November 5, 2007 [6 favorites]


IT SEEKS CONTROL
posted by oncogenesis at 12:10 PM on November 5, 2007


If the iris scanners use blue LED light, as the ones I've seen pictures of do, when they come into wide use, they might set off a huge wave of insomnia and other disorders of circadian rhythm (such as messing up rhythm method birth control, perhaps), since blue light is the most efficient at resetting our body clocks, and at the level of the retina, the scanners are very, very bright.
posted by jamjam at 12:13 PM on November 5, 2007


How long until one can get iris alteration surgery to subvert the scanners?
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:27 PM on November 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


I was thinking colored contact lenses in the same color as your eyes would do the trick.
posted by fandango_matt at 12:45 PM on November 5, 2007


Jamjam, I don't think a brief blue light exposure time is that significant. I have one of those blue light arrays designed for treating seasonal affective disorder, and I have to have it on for fifteen to twenty minutes to get any effect out of it.
posted by BrotherCaine at 12:56 PM on November 5, 2007


We already fingerprint upon arrest. Given the technology is harmless I don’t have a problem with it being used the way fingerprints are. Used during a routine traffic stop is a whole other thing. We don’t use fingerprints for that now. If you’re under arrest, iris scanning as part of the booking process, I don’t have a problem with. And certainly greater knowlege of an offender or suspect’s identity would go a long way to establishing their guilt or innocents. Indeed, look at what DNA testing has done for people convicted of capital crimes and sentenced to death.
posted by Smedleyman at 12:58 PM on November 5, 2007


How long until one can get iris alteration surgery to subvert the scanners?

Ask Oedipus Rex.
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:52 PM on November 5, 2007


I think whenever they want to introduce some questionable technology against criminals, they start with sex offenders so that there's no riots over it -- people are afraid of defending pedophiles, even if it's an issue that will eventually affect everyone.

Indeed. Doubtless it will trigger squeaks of "Godwin! Godwin! Mother, he Godwinned!" ... but "first they came for the sex offenders" is distinctly apropos.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 2:12 PM on November 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


How long until one can get iris alteration surgery to subvert the scanners?

Couple seconds, just let me find a knitting needle.

Oh, you mean and still see? Hmm ... probably still doable with lasers, if you don't mind having slightly impaired vision forever, and seeing black spots for a few weeks until your brain adjusts.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 2:17 PM on November 5, 2007


posted by aeschenkarnos "first they came for the sex offenders" is distinctly apropos.

Technically speaking, it's the sex offenders who first came.
posted by fandango_matt at 2:18 PM on November 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


Good point, BrotherCaine, and if you mean to imply you think the scanners will probably not reset our clocks, I'll have to agree with you, but I do think anyone who wishes to deploy these devices should be obligated to prove it. Here is the abstract of the strongest study that seemed to cast doubt on it I was able to find in a brief search.
posted by jamjam at 2:37 PM on November 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


So now in order to get busted you need to leave your irises at the crime scene?
posted by mattoxic at 2:39 PM on November 5, 2007


I keep my eyes closed all the time.
posted by tkchrist at 4:35 PM on November 5, 2007


Jamjam, thanks for the cool link. In addition to clock resetting, the level of intensity mentioned in that study may cause retinal damage.
posted by BrotherCaine at 2:50 PM on November 6, 2007


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