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FBI's New Eye Scan Database Raising Eyebrows 229

mattnyc99 writes "The FBI has confirmed to Popular Mechanics that it's not only adding palm prints to its criminal records, but preparing to balloon its repository of photos, which an agency official says 'could be the basis for our facial recognition.' It's all part of a new biometric software system that could store millions of iris scans within 10 years and has privacy advocates crying foul. Quoting: 'The FBI's Next Generation Identification (NGI) system, which could cost as much as $1 billion over its 10-year life cycle, will create an unprecedented database of biometric markers, such as facial images and iris scans. For criminal investigators, NGI could be as useful as DNA some day — a distinctive scar or a lopsided jaw line could mean the difference between a cold case and closed one. And for privacy watchdogs, it's a dual threat — seen as a step toward a police state, and a gold mine of personal data waiting to be plundered by cybercriminals.'"
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FBI's New Eye Scan Database Raising Eyebrows

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  • too many movies (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ILuvRamen ( 1026668 ) on Monday June 30, 2008 @01:11PM (#24003331)
    I think someone's been watching too many movies. Aren't modern day iris scanners bad for your eyes. Sending crazy bright light directly into a person's eye will obviously damage it if it's done enough times. So all that logging in every day at the government's secret lab stuff is pure science fiction. I think personally doing an iris scan once can destroy enough rods or whatever to make people complain. They shouldn't be using this system and expecting people to be scanned whenever they want them to be.
  • by ckuttruff ( 1315571 ) on Monday June 30, 2008 @01:24PM (#24003549)
    Anybody notice the mention of Lockheed Martin in the original article?

    Really? Is more outsourcing of sensitive government tasks the way to go? Have we learned nothing from experience...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 30, 2008 @01:28PM (#24003621)

    Since most Doctors already send out patient records, billing and everything to the Medical Information Bureau, it looks to me like this stuff is already available.

    I went in to my Eye Doctor's recently, and everything was computerized and automated. Including taking a picture of the retina, which popped up on a computer screen to be viewed.

    The trouble is, there really are no laws designating control over this at the backend (I'm aware of HIPPA, and it's a joke IMO). Which is exactly what the secretive MIB likes, and strives to keep things this way.

    So, if you think this database doesn't exist already, you are kidding yourself. It's just a question of when the FBI will fully obtain it.

  • Hold up (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BlowHole666 ( 1152399 ) on Monday June 30, 2008 @01:34PM (#24003719)
    Why do they need our Eye Scan Data? I do not leave my iris information at a crime scene. I do however leave my DNA and fingerprints. So what happens when the FBI DB gets hacked and some serial killer changes his Eye Scan with mine. The FBI has no way of knowing who is who. I know some of you may say that the FBI will also have pictures of me and witnesses etc. but it use to be that DNA was not trusted very much and now a person can be put away on DNA evidence alone, so it is all too soon till a person can be put a way or arrested just because their eye scan says they are someone they are not.
  • by zappepcs ( 820751 ) on Monday June 30, 2008 @01:41PM (#24003825) Journal

    Would that be Godwin's Orwellian corollary?

    "As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one."

    As any discussion of the United States Government grows longer, the probability of a comparison to George Orwell's 1984 approaches one.

    In the event that you can invoke both Godwin's Law and the Orwellian Corollary, you score double.

    Adjunct to the Orwellian corollary: Any person correctly citing the corollary within earshot of said 1984-ish government will likely be able to use it only once.

    Shhhhh heir big brother is listening.

  • Alternatives (Score:4, Interesting)

    by boatboy ( 549643 ) on Monday June 30, 2008 @01:48PM (#24003949) Homepage
    OK /.ers, if you're opposed to this, let's hear the alternatives. Describe a system that allows quickly tracking down criminals but protects personal privacy.
  • Re:And? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by imipak ( 254310 ) on Monday June 30, 2008 @02:32PM (#24004733) Journal
    Actually it's the other way round. A police state leads to centralised databases on guilty and innocent alike, not vice versa. Ask my sister-in-law (who grew up in the then DDR) or girlfriend (Brezhnev's USSR and Tito (and then Milosevic's) Yugoslavia.)


  • by camperdave ( 969942 ) on Monday June 30, 2008 @03:01PM (#24005157) Journal
    There has never been a better time to invest in Ray-Ban!

    Or perhaps a company that sells novelty contact lenses [].
  • by Atrox666 ( 957601 ) on Monday June 30, 2008 @03:22PM (#24005409)

    It'll go a little further than last time. Rights are being lost a little bit at a time.

    You can measure how good a country is by how much they ADVANCE freedom and RAISE the MEDIAN standard of living. By this measure the US is a very crappy country and getting crappier. You've become a global embarrassment to your former friends and liability to freedom everywhere.

    I canceled my own trip to the US and went to Cuba instead. At least their citizens realize they live in a police state, there may be hope for them.

    Unfortunately at this point in North America all you can do is wait for enough idiots to clue in to the rise of the new fascism.

    When your founding fathers organized terrorist resistance they did not have to deal with flying robotic combat drones attacking them. Lets hope that when you finally have no choice but to open your eyes that it will still be possible to mount a meaningful resistance.
    To put it in perspective, for less than 100 years we've had the technology in place so that most people in North America can eat until they get full. The majority of your population are killing themselves with this simple non-offensive technology because they are not able to control their own actions and won't stop feeding their face. Now you want to give the technology to control and monitor every aspect of people's lives to these same fat stupid apes?

    Global corporate serfdom is what's at stake here and they are winning.

IN MY OPINION anyone interested in improving himself should not rule out becoming pure energy. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.