Scientists from Carnegie Mellon University in the US have brought forth the latest innovation in the field of biometric technology. They have shown that iris recognition can be used to identify drivers using an image of their eye captured from the side mirror of their vehicle. This would be faster than traditional ways of identifying people. However, in spite of being much less time-consuming, people seem to be having issues with such an advanced technology able to scan their eyes from a distance.
iScan. Photo credits: Shutterstock.
The researchers describe their invention as a more convenient way to enhance security levels; the individuals being identified will no more have to use the conventional means of identification like using passwords. While the concept might sound promising, legal issues might arise that could potentially complicate its implementation. Furthermore, the public might not respond well to having such sensitive data stored.
People at large are not ready to accept this technology, according to iflscience.com. It seems that the idea of not having to wait in long queues to get identified by scanners is not exactly alluring to them. The potential use of biometrics leave the people reluctant. While the process might be faster, people show a preference for physical interactions instead of just having an iris scan identifying them from a distance.
Furthermore, people are concerned about the implications thereof. If this technology begins to replace the conventional ones, will this trigger the use of more of this type of security and surveillance systems? Will the public be gradually made to face with an increased occurrence of the systems?
What if someday biometric identification is incorporated in smart phones and computers? People might be tempted to go for these gadgets because of their usefulness. They might thus slowly be ‘coerced’ to accept it. Participants have concerns over the technology being normalised to the extent that the advent of more refined long-distance recognition systems is not seen as problematic.
Furthermore, data protection and privacy issues will have to be considered. Some countries, including those of the EU, have a complex legal system pertaining to this topic. Privacy and data protection are regarded as fundamental rights and are thus much protected by the law. Were the iris technology to be implemented, legal procedures would have to be taken to allow for its accommodation. The authorities concerned would need to prove that iris recognition was the least invasive means to achieve an end. What also complicates the matter is that iris scanners work from a considerable distance. EU law dictates that the public knows when this kind of information is being taken, and for what reasons.
Long-distance iris recognition might take some time before making it in our societies.