Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Black & Decker Power Tools To Exclusively Sell Iris Scanning Technologies to Governments and Corporations

In the summer of 2010 a corporation named Global Rainmakers Inc (a leading manufacturer of advanced iris detection technologies), made headlines for its new partnership with the city of Leon Mexico, who planned to create "the most secure city in the world". The privacy implications of this iris scanning technology are unsettling. The person being scanned does not need to consent to the procedure as these scanners are mounted on walls and ceilings and could uniquely scan each person in a crowd at a rate of 1 set of eyes per second. A year later, Global Rainmakers has changed its name to Hoyos and has formed a strategic partnership with Stanley CSS, part of the corporate family Stanley Black & Decker, famous for its commercial power tools. The partnership will give Stanley CSS exclusive rights to sell Hoyos products to public and private clients in US and Europe.

A press release issued from Stanley CSS on April 11th outlines the plan: "Hoyos will transition its entire current global client base, including U.S. governmental agencies, foreign governments and large corporations and financial institutions to Stanley CSS for management."

Advocates of the technology point out the benefits it brings to law enforcement organizations. As Global Rainmakers CEO Jeff Carter stated "If you've been convicted of a crime, in essence, this will act as a digital scarlet letter. If you're a known shoplifter, for example, you won't be able to go into a store without being flagged. For others, boarding a plane will be impossible." Privacy advocates naturally have concerns about the system being abused, as well as the non-consensual nature of the technology. Arguably these kinds of invasive technologies violate our fundamental right from unreasonable search. As for opting out, Carter warns that "when you get masses of people opting-in, opting out does not help. Opting out actually puts more of a flag on you than just being part of the system. We believe everyone will opt-in."

This new partnership shows the growth of biometric technology industries are set to explode. As governments continue to erode civil liberties, expand surveillance networks, and restrict freedoms in pursuit of the war on terror, firms that produce technologies to help them can always count on continued profits and expansion.

Jae Muzzin, State Of Collapse Blog (http://stateofcollapse.blogspot.com)

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