Electronic Policing Now a Reality in Some States

It recently came to light that more than 30 police agencies in the country, 9 of which are in California, are already using futuristic technology to help police their cities. Specifically, they are using mobile biometric devices that scan fingerprints, faces and even tattoos.

It was recently reported that "the Electronic Frontier Foundation, in a joint project with MuckRock, filed public records requests around the country to learn how police departments are using mobile biometric technology.” From these requests we learned some use smartphone cameras and mobile apps to use the software technology, and some agencies use it to match fingerprints taken on the scene to match with criminal files. Prior to this technology, this was not possible to do with such speed. Interestingly, not all agencies using the technology have shared how they use the technology yet.

Learning of this technology and how it is being used is so important to know because access to such technology can change the way traffic stops, DUI arrests or other arrests are made. It can be used to attempt to strip away certain protections individuals have currently. Right now, you are not subject to such invasive searches of your person on the scene, but with the advent of this technology, police may start to cease waiting till a suspect is at the station and his or her due process rights have been met before subjecting them to such testing.

It stands to reason that if 30 agencies are using this technology already, that it is soon to be used in Illinois. It will take defense attorneys, legislators and those who are subjected to this technology to determine how much the laws are changed to keep up with this new technology and protect an individuals legal rights.

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