The Electronic Frontier Foundation and Boston-based public records gurus MuckRock have teamed up to conduct a crowd-sourced survey of US police departments’ biometric surveillance systems. You can participate by filling out your own request, seeking information about biometric monitoring in your city or town.
Massachusetts sheriffs have been using face recognition for years now to check people’s identities during the booking process, and a Massachusetts-based company markets iPhone biometrics software to law enforcement. Worcester cops have asked children to submit iris scans to their database.
But while departments increasingly make use of high-tech monitoring tools like face recognition and iris scanning, they don’t often like to talk about it publicly. Kudos to EFF and MuckRock for getting this major ball rolling to force a more informed public conversation about the deployment of these technologies nationwide. Go request info about what’s happening in your neck of the woods. Let us know if you find anything juicy on tech in Massachusetts!