Iris Scan Coming to Airports, Focusing Terror Hunt on Innocent
by Thomas R. Eddlem
Thursday, 16 September 2010
“The Homeland Security Department plans to test futuristic iris scan technology that stores digital images of people’s eyes in a database and is considered a quicker alternative to fingerprints,” USA Today reported September 13. The new technology reportedly can scan irises from as far away as six feet, rather than the traditional several inches.
“The test will help us determine how viable this is for potential (department) use in the future,” Arun Vemury, program manager at the Homeland Security department’s Science and Technology branch, told USA Today. But this is no ordinary “test.” The same newspaper reported September 10 that the “test” will cost taxpayers as much as $10 billion, and the high-tech firm Accenture has already received at least $185 million from the kitty for the “test”:
Two years ago, another big corporation, Accenture, won potentially the largest contract in the Department of Homeland Security’s short history. Accenture plans to use biometrics and other technology to process foreign visitors as they enter the country. The contract could run as long as 10 years and generate up to $10 billion for the company.
Accenture boasts on its corporate website that it has already created a model for iris scanning at airports abroad. “Accenture has worked with UK officials to create a biometrics-enabled gate at Heathrow Airport to move registered travelers through customs faster.”