A firm called Global Rainmakers Inc. (GRI) announced a partnership with Leon, a large city in Mexico, to deploy iris scanning technology it developed to make Leon “the most secure city in the world." The city is creating a database of irises. It will automatically scan criminals’ eyes when they are convicted, though other citizens will have the option to choose whether they want their data included. When residents catch a train or bus, or take out money from an ATM, they will submit to an iris scan rather than swiping a card. They will not have to present ID at a bar or a liquor store. The police will monitor these actions, so for example a convicted shoplifter might not be allowed to enter a certain store. The company’s CEO claims, "There's a lot of convenience to this--you'll have nothing to carry except your eyes. In ten years, you may just have one sensor that is literally able to identify hundreds of people in motion at a distance and determine their geo-location and their intent--you'll be able to see how many eyeballs looked at a billboard. You can start to track from the point a person is browsing on Google and finds something they want to purchase, to the point they cross the threshold in a Target or Walmart and actually make the purchase. You start to see the entire life cycle of marketing." Therefore, lots of convenience and enhanced security may be in our future. Is the tradeoff in terms of our privacy worth it, or is “Big Brother” knocking at the door?
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