Police forces across the U.S. are planning to start using new mobile technology this year that can identify suspects by scanning their eyes, says PoliceOne.com, quoting the Wall Street Journal. The device, which attaches to the back of a mobile phone, is held 5 to 6 inches from a suspect's face. It snaps a photo of the iris – the colored part of the eye — and searches a database for a match.
The device and database together make up the Mobile Offender Recognition and Information System, manufactured by Plymouth, Ma.-based B12 Technologies. “The database is the golden nugget of the whole thing,” BI2 chief executive Sean Mullin said. The system, which includes face and iris data collected when people are admitted to or released from a correctional facility, is able to show a suspect's criminal history instantly, he said. For some, the portable facial recognition technology raises privacy issues, but its novelty has prevented any courtroom from ruling on it yet. It remains “a gray area of the law,” George Washington University law Prof. Orin Kerr told the Wall Street Journal.