Thanks to privacy concerns and infrastructure issues, iris scanners aren't planned for the U.S., a DHS spokesman told FoxNews.com. Airports and security checkpoints could use the machines, which take an instant picture of the eyeball from a few feet away and compare it against an internal database, in the hunt for terror suspects or illegal immigrants. They're not.
But nothing has stopped the United Arab Emirates, India and Jordan who already use the technology at airports and border crossings, and a major U.S. company will soon announce another major deployment elsewhere in the world.
“In UAE, we've scanned more than 40 million people from all nationalities and caught 600,000 trying to come back over the years by changing their name,” Imad Malhas, the founder of manufacturer IrisGuard, told FoxNews.com.
An iris scanner in front of retail outlet The Gap identifies Tom Cruise in the movie "Minority Report" -- and the store promptly tries to sell him new clothes.
India has already enrolled about 600 million people in an initial phase, said Joe O’Carroll, the vice president at the company, which has deployed its scanners in Jordan and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Jeff Carter, the chief data officer at Hoyes Group, told FoxNews.com that iris scanning is the best identification method available. He says a fingerprint only has about 100 points to identify, and even a perfect capture uses only 15 points. False IDs occur in about 1 out of every 10,000 captures.
Facial recognition systems, sometimes used to scan for terror suspects at public events, are even worse: they falsely identify one out of 100 captures. Iris scanning uses 2,048 points of the eye and a false identification occurs only once for every 100 million scans, Carter said.
So why aren't we using this wonder technology in the U.S.? It's not for lack of trying.
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