Eye Tracking: Iris Biometrics Being Used to Catalog Inmates
Here at EyeTrackingUpdate.com, we have written a number of posts on biometrics and potential threat identification for airport security. With recent attempted acts of terrorism (the underpants bomb that failed to go off on a flight from Holland to Detroit last month), threat identification and homeland security are back at the forefront of the many pressing issues for the national security of the United States. In addition to recent discussions utilizing eye tracking and eye monitoring techniques for deterring potential security threats, law enforcement officials are now starting to take advantage of biometric technology for archiving, identification, and documentation of individuals in various databases.
A Massachusetts newspaper recently reported on a new iris recognition technology that was unveiled in Barnstable County. The system was made possible by a grant from the National Sheriff’s Association, and is part of a larger four-in-one system that will eventually link the small county with a growing number of national identification databases. For example, databases like the Child Project and the Senior Safety Net systems can track missing children and senior citizens. IRIS (Inmate Recognition and Identification System) is able to catalog inmates upon incarceration, and SORIS (Sex Offender Recognition and Information System) follows sex offenders through the prison and social system. Iris recognition could come in quite handy once it is applied to the multitude of individuals within these databases.
According to the article, the new four-in-one system “uses iris biometrics to positively identify individuals entered into a particular database.” The human iris, according to Joseph D. McDonald, a Plymouth County Sheriff, is “the most biometric feature that is visible on the human body.” It is more distinct than fingerprints and more effective, as it is impossible to obscure or alter, a common problem with fingerprinting accuracy. The system takes a high resolution digital picture of the subject’s eyes, which a trained system user then attaches to a detailed profile about the subject and enters into the appropriate database. The respective databases are small, but they are expected to grow rapidly.
Any system within the database can supply law enforcement officers with immediate information, helping them to positively identify any suspect who has already been entered into the IRIS or SORIS systems. In addition, if a missing child or senior citizen is found, the system can confirm the individual’s identity through those respective databases as well. According to officials, the new system will be used primarily for processing inmates, and corrections officers are currently being trained.
As biometric technology becomes more affordable and widespread, I believe we can expect to see more eye tracking, pupil and iris recognition technology popping up in counties all over the United States.
Sheriff Unveils New Iris Recognition Technology
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