Wired published today one of those stories that make me flinch for a couple of seconds and wonder where is technology going to stop, which is its final purpose and does it really have such a purpose?
Apparently, according to Wired, cops and soldiers may soon be able to pull out their iPhones to track the eyes, facial features, voice and fingerprints of suspected criminals and combatants.
In my mind, this story reads like “potentially unlimited small big brothers will roam around the world and will categorize virtually anyone according to their irises, fingerprints and their facial structure, with no obvious purpose”. This piece of news is yet another strong argument to leave aside the consent paradigm in privacy and data protection and to focus on enacting safeguards, strong safeguards so that this sort of categorizing is only made for specific purposes, that those purposes and the use of the data are transparent, that the use of the data is limited in time and that erasure must occur after the said time passes…
The California-based company AOptix rolled out a new hardware and app package that transforms an iPhone into a mobile biometric reader. As first reported by Danger Room in February, AOptix is the recipient of a $3 million research contract from the Pentagon for its on-the-go biometrics technology.
Opting for what it considers ease of use, the company decided to build its latest biometrics package, which it calls Stratus, atop an iPhone. A peripheral covering wraps around the phone — it’s an inch and a half thick, three inches wide and six inches tall — while the AOptix Stratus app presents a user interface familiar to any iOS user. Except you’re not going to be recording Vine videos, you’re going to be recording the most unique physical features of another human being.
“From an end-user perspective, it’s much, much smaller, lighter and easier to use an app-based capability” than the bulky biometrics tools currently in military use, Joey Pritikin, an AOptix vice president, tells Danger Room. “Anyone who’s used an iPhone before can pick this up and use it.” (read the whole story HERE)