Slouching Towards Gattaca

LITE-U Portable Criminal Booking SystemEngadget informs us of a portable fingerprint scanning machine that makes it easier for law enforcement to book people roadside for the ostensible reason of committing a crime (like having a tail-light out):

Committing crimes isn’t really our thing, but we appreciate the fact that some people have chosen a felony-filled lifestyle, and understand that the whole booking process can be quite lengthy upon arrest. Well the MTV-generation criminal doesn’t have the time nor the attention span to sit around getting fingerprinted, photographed, and cavity-searched (it’s basic economics: the more “leisure” time you spend in lock-up, the less available “working” time you have to spend in the underground economy), so Smiths Heimann Biometrics is helping bring the police station to you.

Unfortunately, they don’t seem to understand the complete implications of another system that makes it one step easier for the techno-police to create national database profiles on average Americans. I posited the following in the comments there:

How long until my fingers are getting live-scanned at a routine traffic stop or DUI roadblock? :(

I’m holding out for the DNA scanners (cotton swab in the mouth) that instantly pops up your identity before people really start freaking.

For those not in the know, Gattaca is a futuristic sci-fi movie where a person’s entire existence is ruled by the purity and viability of their DNA.

1 Comment
  1. Don’t worry, if you’re DNA records are hooked up to a national data base, you could get scanned by merely passing by a detector.

    Figure, your new national ID (courtesy of the 100-0 vote by the senate and a similar vote by the house of reps) could have an RFID tag in it that responds to a pulse by a scanner.

    Think you’ll just leave that ID at home? Wait till they pass legislation mandating car manufacturers to prevent a car from operating without an ID inserted in the dashboard.

    But don’t worry, you have nothing to hide. And if you fight this, you must have something to hide.

    Hmm, I’m guessing this will be likely by 2009.

    Let’s see how close I am.

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