Australian Police To Start Using Android-Powered Fingerprint Scanners

Australian Police To Start Using Android-Powered Fingerprint Scanners

South Australian police are planning to roll out new fingerprint scanners to officers on the beat. Powered by Android and gear from NEC, the biometric ID units will stop suspects making false ID claims when dealing with local cops.

The fingerprint scanners are small gadgets connected via Bluetooth to Android smartphones that connect to both 3G and 4G networks on the go. A suspect would present their finger to the officers for printing, and within seconds, the print has been analysed and compared against the Crimtrac’s National Automated Fignerprint Identification System. That database currently stores information on 3.3 million people.

If the database returns a hit, it means that the suspect is known to Police or has criminal history. That history is then sent down to the smartphone, displaying everything from a photo on file, current address details and behavioural characteristics like “violent tendancies”, according to a statement from NEC.

I’m all for finding efficiencies in law enforcement as well as protecting police officers, but doesn’t this feel like a creepy precursor to a future where everyone can be identified on the spot and treated accordingly by law enforcement officers? I digress.

150 of the scanners are being rolled out across the South Australian Police Force.