I don’t know about this. It sounds cool on television, but in real life it is creepy.
Leon, Mexico, a city of one million, is planning on laying down miles upon miles of fiber optic wire connected to a central data system for the implementation of an iris recognition technology. If you saw Minority Report, then you know how it works.
When a resident of Leon gets on a bus, goes to an ATM, boards a train or enters any checkpoint in the city, the pattern of their iris will be matched to the database for identification.
Anyone convicted of a crime will be added to the bank automatically. People not convicted of a crime can opt-in.
I don’t think anyone in their right mind would voluntarily opt-in to this system, but I have a hunch mandatory participation is coming around the corner.
Mexico has some serious problems with drug cartels. If the iris recognition technology helps get a handle on that, then that is great. I see it as comparable to declaring marital law in a civil uprising. Once in a while, some liberties might need to be suspended for security, and then reinstated as soon as possible. However, once this system is implemented it is not going away.
“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. Every person, place, and thing on this planet will be connected [to the iris system] within the next 10 years,” said Jeff Carter, CDO of Global Rainmakers.
Neat. I want a central database to know every time I board a bus or take $20 out of an ATM.
I think Carter is being a little optimistic about the timeline, but I am afraid it is coming.
Global Rainmaker, Inc., is the creator of the technology, and while I am sure there intentions are as good as their expected profits, this opens a long-expected door to a new society.
The larger scanners can identify up to 50 people a minute, while the smaller ones recognize 10-15. They will soon become ubiquitous in Leon.
“If you’ve been convicted of a crime, in essence, this will act as a digital scarlet letter. If you’re a known shoplifter, for example, you won’t be able to go into a store without being flagged. Certainly for others, boarding a plane will be impossible,” said Carter.
I am certain Carter is simply trying to tout his companies fancy toys, but they need a good publication relations person not to use loaded words like “digital scarlet letter.”
According to Carter, if you shoplift once in life, then you will never be able to shop again without some high security surveillance. Putting a one-time shoplifter on the same level as a drug lord or terrorist makes me a little queasy.
This is the ultimate technology for a totalitarian state like North Korea or religious authoritarian government like Iran to use to control its people.
George Orwell warned us.