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News Link • Surveillance

Iris Scanners Gain Traction in New York and Texas

A high-resolution photograph of an iris, the colored part of the eye, contains 240 unique points of reference for identifying a person — that’s about 100 more reference points than a fingerprint, according to the FBI. Although iris recognition is nowhere near replacing fingerprint technologies and databases, it’s become a popular way for law enforcement and corrections agencies to add another layer of certainty when identifying offenders. More than 2,100 departments in 27 states use iris recognition, according to media reports from 2007. And in November 2010, the technology received high-profile coverage when the New York City Police Department (NYPD) began using it. Paul Browne, the NYPD’s chief spokesman, said via e-mail that two incidents drove the department’s use of the technology: “In early 2010, where [two] individuals awaiting arraignment escaped incarceration by feigning to be individuals being arraigned for lesser offenses,” he wrote.

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