Today the NY Times ran an article (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/14/world/asia/14identity.html) on the collection of biometric files in Afghanistan and Iraq. This technology (provided by the US) records eye scans, fingerprints, and facial images of a person and stores them in a database that can be accessed nearly instantly.
One in every 20 Afghan residents, and 1 in every 14 Iraqis have their information in such databases. All prisoners are required to submit their information, but so are all residents applying for government jobs. “A citizen in Afghanistan or Iraq would almost have to spend every minute in a home village and never seek government services to avoid ever crossing paths with a biometric system.”
The article then goes on to discuss how Americans have had this technology, but there has been serious opposition to implementing it on a large scale here, due to concerns about “constitutional rights of privacy and protection from warrantless searches”
What do you think? It’s easy (or at least possible) to change your hair and clothes or to fake documents, but you can’t change your biometrics. Does such a fool-proof system improve security (both here and abroad?) or is it unnecessary infringement on civil liberties? Could this be a slippery slope?