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  1. #1
    TXCharlie's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Children Being Identified by new Iris Scan "CHILD" Project

    Galveston County Joins Program To Scan Children's Irises
    http://www.nbc5i.com/news/10645895/detail.html


    POSTED: 11:08 am CST January 1, 2007

    GALVESTON, Texas -- Galveston County became the first in Texas to purchase eye-scanning equipment as part of a national program to keep track of children by recording unique characteristics of their irises, officials said.

    Sheriff Gean Leonard introduced the program Thursday along with representatives of Massachusetts-based Biometric Intelligence & Identification.

    The company, which sold the county two biometric scanners for $35,000, is working to build a national database dubbed the Children's Identification and Location Database, or CHILD Project.

    "The technology is fairly complex, but the concept is incredibly simple," Leonard said. "This spider web of information is going to provide for us an opportunity to very quickly, very simply, very easily -- through technology -- be able to identify those who may be missing for a variety of reasons."

    Biometric President Sean Mullin said a person's iris is unique, like a fingerprint. The system can scan an eye and match an iris in 3 to 5 seconds after comparing it with stored images in the database, he said.

    The technology was originally developed to keep track of prisoners, company officials said. Galveston County might also use it to help identify elderly people suffering from Alzheimer's disease.

    Galveston County is the first sheriff's department in Texas and the 47th nationwide to join the project, which is working in conjunction with other missing people programs.

    Robert Melley, Biometric's vice president and CEO, said the project wants to record the irises of 5 million children over the next few years.

    "We have 1,800 sheriff's departments representing 46 states who have committed to participating," he said.

    Leonard said he wants to scan the irises of all 71,000 children in the county. He plans to make the systems available at safety fairs, church meetings, school meetings and the other public events to create a local database.

    He said he is working to secure private donations to cover the costs of the machines.

    Kevin O'Reilly, a Biometric spokesman, said the chance for an incorrect match with iris scans is about one in 200 million.

    Leonard said he will work to win over any parents that might have privacy concerns about the iris scans.

    O'Reilly said the CHILD Project database removes iris scans automatically once a child turns 18, unless he or she is still listed as missing. He said that only enough information to find a child or elderly person's family is included in the database, and not other personal information such as Social Security numbers.

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  2. #2
    BEB
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    I need someone to explain to me how this is beneficial. I seriously don't get how it helps recover missing children.

  3. #3
    TXCharlie's Avatar
    TXCharlie is offline Former & Future Reserve Officer
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    It doesn't help recover them, it just helps prove who they are when they're found...

    Honestly, though, it seems to me like fingerprints are just as good, and DNA samples would be much more durable if the child is found dead. The eyes aren't gonna last more than a day or two, as gross as that sounds.

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    BEB
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    Exactly - didn't want to be morbid and I thought maybe I was missing something. Fingerprints are pretty durable. The company selling $35,000 machines surely have a list of reasons though.

  5. #5
    TXCharlie's Avatar
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    It would be useful in finding kids if they had an instant remote iris scanner that would instantly scan every person walking by any given area from a few feet away, perhaps, and compare that to the missing kid database... Such as the entry door to a Wal-Mart or shopping mall.

    But then I have a feeling that privacy advocates would have a stroke.
    Last edited by TXCharlie; 01-02-07 at 03:22 AM.

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    BEB
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    I'd be one having a stroke. Life's a risky gamble, as your article about the kid dying from freak accident with a toy gun illustrated. Trying to minimize those risks is good - to a point.

    Bring back lawn darts? Nah, though they were fun. Put everyone in a federal database? Nah, though it make sense to those who can only see the upside.

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    ok... I'm sure I'll catch flak for this, but BugEyedBeast's comment about lawn darts brought it up...

    Bring back lawn darts, and the magnetic football games and all of the oldschool "dangerous" toys. I gotta agree with Dennis Leary on this one. Those toys were tests to make sure that you were worthy of survival and passing your genes on.

    Now, on topic. This is nothing more than a way to eventually build a database of every citizen. Within 3 generations they would have Everyone in the country in the database... And like your SSN it would be abused by private industry. I see no reason to go through with this. As stated above fingerprints and DNA samples would do just as well.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CelticCop View Post
    ok... I'm sure I'll catch flak for this, but BugEyedBeast's comment about lawn darts brought it up...

    Bring back lawn darts, and the magnetic football games and all of the oldschool "dangerous" toys. I gotta agree with Dennis Leary on this one. Those toys were tests to make sure that you were worthy of survival and passing your genes on.
    I can't be the only one that thinks the playground equipment we used to play on did a LOT to thin the herd. If you fell and hurt yourself, you learned how to do it without falling because pain is a great teacher. Even someone else's pain was a lesson, once you got past the "ohhh COOL! He almost made it!" part. After a bit, if you hurt yourself, you dusted yourself off and kept going, none of the crying on the ground for a half hour while mommy consoles her 'widdle baby' who happens to be 15. I mean, let's face it, I have more balls than some of the 18 year old kids running around today who aspire to play football yet faint when they get a splinter.

    But back to the original topic, I'm sure if a juvie gets picked up and scanned, and it comes back as a runaway or missing, that would be great. But that's a BIG if, as I doubt most serious runaways would stay in the same town as their parents.
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