US police to photograph public using iPhones (update 4.50pm)

July 14, 2011

Police across the United States have been given licence to photograph members of the public using iPhones, to establish whether their face matches a criminal database via facial recognition software.

Law-enforcement agencies in the US are gearing up to kit out police forces with the technology in September in a move likely to raise privacy concerns, reports the Wall Street Journal.

The device, called Moris, is a piece of hardware that attaches to an iPhone and is designed to recognise whether the person has a criminal history from an image of their face or the iris of the eye.

?The Moris system analyses 235 unique features in each iris and uses an algorithm to match that person with their identity if they are in the database,? reports the WSJ.

A police officer would need to be no more than five feet away for the facial recognition software to work, based on an image of their face alone. The system analyses ?130 distinguishing points on the face’, according to the newspaper.

Asked whether UK police are planning to use the technology, a Home Office spokesman told Amateur Photographer: ‘We are not looking at anything like this particular scheme in the UK at the moment.

‘There are things we do where officers use technology while out on the beat… but this specific scheme is not something that we use.’

Press ‘like’ to join our photographer’s rights Facebook campaign

Or join AP’s general Facebook page: