Friday, May 18, 2012

New Security Technology to use remote physiological monitoring to gauge motives (

In the United States, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is putting fine touches to a new technology which they claim will be able to quietly track and monitor people at airports and in other public places, in order to check for suspicious or shifty people. The Future Attribute Screening Technologies (FAST) program according to the DHS, is being established “to determine whether technology can enable the identification and interpretation of a screened subject’s physiological and behavioral cues or signatures, which, in turn, “will allow for security personnel to remotely (and therefore, more safely) identify diagnostic cues of malintent.”

In order words, by utilizing a variety of sensors placed in key positions to capture such things as video images and audio recordings, as well as cardiovascular signals, pheromones, perspiration, changes in the electrical properties of the skin in response to stress or anxiety and respiratory measurements – people who are nervous or shifty (as potential terrorists or drug couriers are presumed to be), could be identified, remotely. However, not only are critics questioning how reliable this new technology could be (especially relative to other options available), they are also wondering if the government has the right to monitor citizens bodily metabolic functions without first obtaining their consent.

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