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Minority Report Style Iris Scanners In Mexico 187

Posted by samzenpus
from the scanning-your-way-around-town dept.
TheRealPacmanJones writes "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. The scanners will help revolutionize law enforcement not to mention marketing."
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Minority Report Style Iris Scanners In Mexico

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  • Phooey. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ScrewMaster (602015) on Wednesday August 18, 2010 @06:31PM (#33294956)
    I hate it when filmmakers are just a little too prophetic.
    • To quote one of my favourite movies,

      "Boy, do I hate being right all the time!"

      • by MRe_nl (306212)

        "I had a guaranteed Mexican sale with ED209! Renovation program! Spare parts for 25 years! Who cares if it worked or not"!

      • "God creates dinosaurs; God destroys dinosaurs; God creates Man; Man destroys God; Man creates dinosaurs."

        "...Dinosaurs eat Man; Woman inherits the Earth."

    • One film that showed how to circumvent this was "Demolition Man", where the character played by Wesley Snipes uses an eyeball torn off a doctor to open a door.

      Are there any other films using the same idea? It seems pretty obvious to me.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by stonewallred (1465497)
        Said you can't in TFA. Eye loses blood pressure and screws up reading. Now wonder if surgery could alter the amount of pressure enough to screw scanner, while preserving vision? Maybe an ophthalmologist reads /. and can answer?
        • by mangu (126918)

          Eye loses blood pressure and screws up reading

          Then maybe that's why Simon Phoenix stuck the eyeball on a fountain pen in that film. He could use ink pressure to compensate for blood pressure loss.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by stonewallred (1465497)
      Screw that, I am buying stock in the wrap around mirror shades companies. More scanners will result in more sales, until the governments mandate you must not hide your eyes. How about colored contacts or non colored contacts with just enough distortion to screw the sensors?
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by tepples (727027)

        More scanners will result in more sales, until the governments mandate you must not hide your eyes.

        It wouldn't be too far removed from France's burqa ban.

      • by richlv (778496)

        passing a sensor check against a central db would be required to enter any govt building at first (hospitals etc). then it will migrate to pubs. then "fake eyes" will start appearing.
        then districts will be separated with scanners that you must pass to move from to another, then, in some locations, this will change down to block level or even house level.

    • by nurb432 (527695)

      Soooo, you don't watch SCIFI shows much do you? That's what they are all about.

      • Soooo, you don't watch SCIFI shows much do you? That's what they are all about.

        Actually, I do, and I read even more. But that's irrelevant. Not everything that you read or see that purports to be "science" fiction is likely to occur, ever will occur, or is even possible in the first place. For that matter, much good sci-fi has nothing whatsoever to do with what is likely to happen to us (humanity, I mean.)

        Sometimes they get lucky, though, and hit closer to home than we would like. That's not generally by accident: a good sci-fi author keeps up with his science, stays abreast of rec

    • As far as being the most secure city on earth? That just sounds like a planetary challenge. I mean, what kind of idiot politician still says stuff like this? Can you imagine what would happen if there was a contest to test this "security" of theirs? Not to mention the fact it sounds more a hollow threat. Especially in light of the glaring drug problems the country is experiencing. Security is only as good as the human running it. And NO country is immune to corruption.
    • "Sir ... he just ... disappeared!"

      (Or even: "Señor .... ha .... disapericido!")

  • Oookay. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Securityemo (1407943) on Wednesday August 18, 2010 @06:34PM (#33294974) Journal
    So now it will be illegal to wear sunglasses in Mexico?
  • Secure? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by WrongSizeGlass (838941) on Wednesday August 18, 2010 @06:35PM (#33294988)

    'the most secure city in the world.'

    Not if you live, work or visit there. They need basic protections from drug gangs and their corrupt government, military and police. They don't need these scanners, they need millions of bullet proof vests.

    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by couchslug (175151)

      They need an effective police state, and a Pinochet, a Franco, or other ruler who has enough leverage to kill anyone who is a threat to good citizens.

      There is a point where the strictly limited and extremely restrained legalistic ways which are practical in stable countries do not work.

      War, not law, is then necessary to kill and destroy the enemies of the people. Mexico is a failed state, and the way to put those in order is to give orders, enforce them with force, and ensure the narco-warlords are killed s

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Nethead (1563)

        Oh, we understand the concept. Look what happened to Iraq when we overthrew Saddam. We broke it, we bought it.

        • by couchslug (175151)

          Which is why we should have left it alone. Iraq was contained (containment is considered acceptable for vastly worse North Korea), and stable.

          Invading Iraq merely drained our Treasury and damaged our economy with the only useful outcome being the continuation of the petrodollar.

          • by Nethead (1563)

            Don't forget the Military Industrial Complex, gotta keep that chuggin' away.

            Somehow I think that overthrowing North Korea would be more like trying to overthrow Scientology. That country is going to need some heavy counseling when it wakes up from it's bad dream.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by stonewallred (1465497)
        Hmm, that logic could easily be extended to our efforts in Iraq, Afghanistan and even with Islam in total. Somebody alert Beck that we have a solution to our problems, kill them all and let the invisible sky wizard of your own choosing sort them out.
        • by couchslug (175151)

          That is not remotely practical.

          That kind of social cleansing MUST come from a motivated indigenous movement, able to penetrate all levels of society, act in detail, and persist to secure the results.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I feel like it's redundant to point out examples of the kind of thing you're talking about since you already mentioned Pinochet or Franco. Nevertheless, I'm going to point out that what you're talking about is exactly what the Taliban were, and look how well they worked out!

        How about, instead of giving up on Mexico as a failed state, give up on drug prohibition as a failed policy. Prohibition of things that people simply are not going to stop paying for just doesn't work. Didn't work for alchohol. The human

        • by couchslug (175151)

          The Taliban are suitable to Afghanistan, and ideally adapted to maintain order among other primitive people. Don't forget that religion IS suitable to primitives which is why it preceded more enlightened ideas. Their only objectionable act was providing basing for Al Qaeda to use against the US.

          As for Franco, he saved Spain from Stalinism and again from involvement in WWII. He did a fine job killing Communists, which was the way one had to deal with them at the time. Pinochet also dealt effectively with Mar

        • heya,

          I see this scenario paraded about a lot by the "legalise drugs" crowd. The thing is, if you suddenly make drugs legal, firstly, as you pointed out, things won't change right away.

          Secondly however, all those people who do nasty illegal things for drugs (either the producers or the users) aren't suddently going to go away either.

          The thing is, a drug warlord is, well...err...a criminal? it's not like they're suddenly going to get up one day and thing, gee, drugs aren't illegal anymore, well, I'm done a lo

          • by Mr2cents (323101)

            > All this c*ap about "safe levels" is absurd - you're inbibing a psycho-active substance, the only real "safe" level that doesn't affect you is none. I mean, if it didn't have a psycho-active effect, would you even really be taking it?

            100% wrong. You are confusing the terms "safe" and "active". It's the same as with medicine: you can overdose on medication too, but that doesn't imply that there can't be safe levels. The psycho-active effects are the WHOLE POINT of taking drugs.

      • Couldn't you be honest and simply demand all of our oil for free?

      • by richlv (778496)

        trivial crime rates and large part of population in prisons. it's a bit sad that you have to compare world's most advanced country to the one that can't really hold together on its own ;)

    • Re:Secure? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mangu (126918) on Wednesday August 18, 2010 @07:00PM (#33295222)

      They need basic protections from drug gangs and their corrupt government, military and police

      They need their big rich neighbor in the North to decriminalize recreational drugs.

      Chicago was also a violent and corrupt city when the recreational use of ethanol was unconstitutional.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by geekoid (135745)

        Not really. IN fact, most crime dropped, and domestic crime just about disappeared.

        Criminal on criminal violence amongst rival importers was bad. However, even when it wasn't bad it would be put on headlines and twisted to seem worse.

        My thought was that the papers didn't like the sever drop in revenue from the alcohol ad loss.

        At least then the criminal had the decency to try and keep it among themselves.

    • Re:Secure? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Balthisar (649688) on Wednesday August 18, 2010 @07:10PM (#33295304) Homepage

      Actually, Leon isn't a drug lord infested stink hole like some other parts of Mexico. It's slogan was (until recently) "The best city for living in!" And it's really kind of true. The state that it's in was one of the first to throw off the shackles of the ruling PRI (you know, they guys that never gave up power after the Mexican revolution), and it progressed as a result. The previous president of Mexico (Fox, the first non-PRI president in those 71 years) was from the outskirts of Leon. Their public transportation (non-subway) system is a model for the world, and it's being adopted for many parts of Mexico City (where I currently live, and is a shithole, even the "exclusive" neighborhood where corporate housing has me). Potable water, good infrastructure, lots of various industry, a very good, middle-class standard of living, and less-than-average corruption in their police force.

      Generally speaking, Leon is /already/ one of the safest cities in Mexico.

      I go to Leon quite extensively, and so the iris scanner thing actually kind of gives me the heebie-jeebies.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by fafalone (633739)
      They need to take the vast majority of the money away from the cartels. No profit removes the incentive for violence and the ability to corrupt large portions of the government. Too bad that "sends the wrong message". God forbid the people getting high illegally now be able to do it legally, and receive treatment instead of a record leaving no other path than crime. (No, there's no evidence legalization means more addiction, see the Netherlands and Portugal).
  • Time to buy stock in sunglass and colored contact manufacturers.

    • by mjwx (966435)

      Time to buy stock in sunglass and colored contact manufacturers.

      Scott: Go on through agent, the scanner can read blood vessel patterns right through your sunglasses.

  • what a joke (Score:4, Funny)

    by Schlemphfer (556732) on Wednesday August 18, 2010 @06:36PM (#33295000) Homepage

    Mexico is a failed state well on its way to anarchy. This is a country that can't even keep its police chiefs from getting assassinated by drug cartel thugs, and they think iris scanners are going to make a damned bit of difference? Give me a break.

    • by losttoy (558557) on Wednesday August 18, 2010 @06:55PM (#33295162)
      Here's how iris scanners can help fend off an attack. When attacked: 1. Throw an iris scanner real hard at the attacker. Don't worry if you miss, there are plenty more around you. 2. Offer an iris scanner to the attacker (should sell well on ebay) 3. Point iris scanner at the attacker and threaten to vapourize them. 4. Quickly hack into the iris database, delete attacker's identity. This will lead the attacker to question his existence and the attacker will simply implode. 5. Run! of course, iris scanner plays no role here.
      • by richlv (778496)

        5. drop the iris scanner you planned to throw at the attacker next so you can run faster. for bonus points look at it for a moment, then scream "zomg, it's gonna BLOW UP" before dropping it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by c0lo (1497653)

      and they think iris scanners are going to make a damned bit of difference?

      Yes, they are going to make a difference! For the official(s) that took the bribe to push this ahead and for the company providing the scanners. How big the difference ? For certain, more than a bit, but I can't say how big.

    • Mexico is a failed state well on its way to anarchy. This is a country that can't even keep its police chiefs from getting assassinated by drug cartel thugs, and they think iris scanners are going to make a damned bit of difference? Give me a break.

      This comment fully deserves a +5 score, but why is it modded as "Funny"? This is not funny, it's the tragic truth of Mexico's brutal reality.

    • It WILL make a difference. Within a week, all the druglords will be able to track day and night the locations of the judges and uncorrupted politicians they had been unable to murder until now. Mob rule starts in 3, 2, 1...
  • Luckily.... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Wednesday August 18, 2010 @06:36PM (#33295002) Journal
    I'm sure that "Global Rainmakers Inc."(Seriously, could you have come up with something creepier?) have a foolproof plan for making sure that half the people involved aren't on one or more cartel payrolls, using the systems for tracking and assassinations, before the hardware is even in the field...
    • You beat me to it. "Secure" and "large city in the middle of a corruption-laden drug war" simply do not go together.

      • by Balthisar (649688)

        Leon isn't in the drug war. Not that that can't change. What do you hear on the news? Acapulco (and that's new), Monterey, Nuevo Laredo, Cd. Juarez, Michoacan (the state), Sinaloa (the state). Guanajauto (the state that Leon is in) isn't part of that mess (nor is most of the country). In fact, it's a major tourist destination (the state, not Leon), and has a ginormous American ex-pat population. Drugs = ports and the US border.

    • by vux984 (928602)

      "Global Rainmakers Inc."

      What we need in response is clearly:

      "Umbrella Corporation"

      What could possibly go wrong? ;)

  • The movie I think of when I hear about retina scanners is Demolition Man [pinballrebel.com].

  • by $RANDOMLUSER (804576) on Wednesday August 18, 2010 @06:39PM (#33295038)

    "In 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," says Jeff Carter, CDO of Global Rainmakers. Before coming to GRI, Carter headed a think tank partnership between Bank of America, Harvard, and MIT. "Every person, place, and thing on this planet will be connected [to the iris system] within the next 10 years," he says.

    BURN IN HELL, MOTHERFUCKER!

    • "In 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," says Jeff Carter, CDO of Global Rainmakers. Before coming to GRI, Carter headed a think tank partnership between Bank of America, Harvard, and MIT. "Every person, place, and thing on this planet will be connected [to the iris system] within the next 10 years," he says.

      BURN IN HELL, MOTHERFUCKER!

      Well thats his view, and he is a salesman after all. But I wonder about how unique retinas are anyway, and how reproducible retina scanning will be in the long term?

      • by $RANDOMLUSER (804576) on Wednesday August 18, 2010 @06:59PM (#33295216)
        The particular technology doesn't matter. Do you really want to live in a world where every time you "enter your home, your car, your workspace, get a prescription filled, etc.", it's recorder in a database? Do you want "every person, place and thing on this planet" (these are his quotes, not mine) recorded? TFA goes on with quotes from him tracking movements (truckers to start) and extolling the complete loss of privacy for everyone "on the planet". I say we start by tracking this miserable salesfuck and his family 24x7 and publishing it, see how wonderful he thinks it is.
        • by sgage (109086)

          I'm with $RANDOMLUSER.

          This is evil, pure and simple.

        • Why is this "evil", per se? What are the horrible consequences of "we-can-measure-the-arc-of-his-piss" mass surveillance that you foresee?
        • by feepness (543479)

          Do you really want to live in a world where every time you "enter your home, your car, your workspace, get a prescription filled, etc.", it's recorder in a database?

          Sure. I like being marketed to with things I want and not with things I could care less about.

          Do you want "every person, place and thing on this planet" (these are his quotes, not mine) recorded?

          Absolutely not if they don't want it.

    • I wonder why they think giving people more justifications for violence will eliminate violence.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by ScrewMaster (602015)

      "In 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," says Jeff Carter, CDO of Global Rainmakers. Before coming to GRI, Carter headed a think tank partnership between Bank of America, Harvard, and MIT. "Every person, place, and thing on this planet will be connected [to the iris system] within the next 10 years," he says.

      BURN IN HELL, MOTHERFUCKER!

      Personally, I think that a lot of this crap would just STOP if medical science would find a penis enlargement pill that actually works. Frankly, I think there are a lot of men in government and the private sector that are seriously underendowed, and have to compensate by fucking over the rest of us, as if it's our fault that Nature dealt them a ding instead of a dong.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by TheNarrator (200498)

      "In 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," says Jeff Carter, CDO of Global Rainmakers. Before coming to GRI, Carter headed a think tank partnership between Bank of America, Harvard, and MIT. "Every person, place, and thing on this planet will be connected [to the iris system] within the next 10 years," he says.

      But wa

    • Unfortunately, you speak for some of us, but not for all of us. Technology geeks develop this shit.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by chord.wav (599850)

      So unabomber was right after all uh?

      For the record, I don't approve his methods. But his manifesto is a good read.

    • being blind will become a crime.
  • I would have gone with a Barb Wire reference. Gun's version of Word Up playing in my head...

  • when do the patents on IRIS recognition run out ?

    I think its soon...

    or now...

    regards

    John Jones

  • Well (Score:5, Informative)

    by ignuss (1881746) on Wednesday August 18, 2010 @06:53PM (#33295152)
    I actually live in León, and I haven't heard anything about this (not ads, not rumours, nothing). So yeah, I kind of find the note somewhat not-believable. And for the guy that said that México is in its way to anarchy, lol @ you.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by MidnightBrewer (97195)

      This article strikes me as a bit far-fetched. I'm curious to see if there's any news of this going anywhere in the future.

      BTW, the GRI website is under the confusing name of hoyosgroup.com, and seems a bit fishy. No actual photos of staff (just generic clipart-ish silhouettes), and their claims of being able to capture a person's iris at over fifty feet moving at 1.5m/sec? Really? What kind of camera do they use for that? Just sayin'.

    • Good for you!!

      Actually, León was the thing that made me make the horrible mistake for voting for Fox in 2000. Is a really nice city, if they got rid of the Christian Taliban theocrats that rule the state and Leon's bishop León by far would be one of the best cities of the whole country. About the comment that the country is going down in to anarchy, for northern Mexico it is awfully true.

  • The reality of implementing systems like this will probably be more along the lines of Ghost in the Shell than Minority Report. People are corrupt (this is Mexico we're talking about, I assume you *have* to be corrupt and use "unofficial channels" to get anything useful done there.) And systems get hacked, of course, but fixed hardware systems like this can be locked down pretty tight. Not only that, but the system looks small enough to be put inside a hand-held unit; if this technology becomes as cheap and
  • FTFA (Score:2, Insightful)

    by twright0 (1877370)
    FTFA:

    ...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... 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."

    If you're a law-abiding citizen, you have nothing to hi

    • by smurfsurf (892933)

      Exactly my thoughts. The whole thing is bat-shit crazy-scary. The rationalization put forward by these people is unbelievable.

      "The banks already know more about what we do in our daily life--they know what we eat, where we go, what we purchase--our deepest secrets," he says. "We're not talking about anything different here--just a system that's good for all of us."

      Ad 1) Not anything different. Yeah, equally bad.

      Ad 2) No, they do not. At least not in my country, Germany. Data transmitted to the bank for paym

  • It should be pretty easy to create contact lenses (even non-rx) to thwart this? Maybe even when you register wear the lenses to have false data on their systems
  • They need to integrate this Iris scanner with the person's location history, recent contacts and online activity and come up with a TerrorScore(tm). If it goes above a certain threshold that a Bayesian algorithm has determined will make them likely to commit criminal acts, the drones can be automatically dispatched to the location of the subject with a hellfire missile to dispose of the threat. It's like spam filtering, but for people! ;)

  • by CorvisRex (1266594) on Wednesday August 18, 2010 @08:05PM (#33295752)
    Phillip K. Dick should be required reading for all kids. That way when they grow up and begin making decision that effect others, they just might(maybe) say, "Wow, I read something like this when I was a kid, it didn't turn out so well if I remember correctly." The reason so many Science Fiction writers can often be prophetic is that they look at a technology or an idea, and ask "I wonder what could go wrong with this?", "What will this idea mutate into in 100 years?" They think about the horrible, painful, or just bizarre turns technology and ideas can take. It is usually intended as social commentary, but is most often ignored...
    Maybe they are just more in-tuned with the spirit of Murphy's Law than most....
    • Phillip K. Dick should be required reading for all kids.

      Followed very closely by Robert Heinlein (I specifically recommend this one [wikipedia.org], followed by this one [wikipedia.org].)

  • "Fraud, which is a $50 billion problem, will be completely eradicated"
  • How soon after this will everyone be required to be chipped in the hand in order buy, sell or work? Mark of the beast is coming and sheeple on the internets will welcome it with open arms because they will think that it is "cool" and subversive against the faith of their forefathers. Do you really want to become a drone?

    Wake up before it's too late.

  • I don't see that many problems concerning privacy. So this system will remember when and where we went. So? It is not to be placed in our homes.

    • by mrjb (547783)
      So what? Everyone has something to hide, and it's not only indoors. The system has no business spying on when and where people went.

      This is a step worse than CCTV cameras (which were put up "for the safety of the public" but don't really help reduce crime). Now imagine that all this imagery is also conveniently linked to the names of people.

      Some people go to the local Red Light district. Others go to their dealer. Yet others go and visit their lovers or whatnot. Yet others accidentally find themselves at

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