I can hear it now in Britain: “Fingers? Fingers? Where are your fingers?” Within the next 18 months, every police officer in the UK will be equipped with portable fingerprint scanners, and will be able to carry out identity checks at the drop of a bobby’s helmet.
The official (and implausible, given past history) claim is that such scans will not be permanently stored in a national database.
One of the companies bidding on the system, known as Mobile Identification At Scene (MIDAS), is American company Northrop-Grumman, better known as an aircraft company.
Beyond taking people’s fingerprints in the field and cross-checking against the national database, officials hope the next phase will include facial recognition. Now all they have to do is couple that with a retina-scan system mounted in a small robotic spider, and they’ll have a system Mr. Anderton of Future Crime, Inc. would be proud of.