PetaPixel

Police in the US to Turn iPhone Cameras Back on Citizens

If ordinary citizens have the right to photograph police in public places, what about the other way around? That’s a question that’s sure to be asked often in the coming days, as 40 law enforcement agencies across the US are planning to use iPhones to photograph civilians for the purpose of identifying wanted perps. The system, called Mobile Offender Recognition and Information System (MORIS), costs $3,000 apiece and will be able to do facial recognition searches on a database of known criminals. Photographers’ rights will apply to cops too — police won’t be required to ask permission before snapping a photograph of your face!

(via Amateur Photographer and WSJ)


 
  • http://twitter.com/joakimfj Joakim Fjeldli

    Good idea if you ask me. Say a photographer is taking photos somewhere. He is approached by LEOs and asked who he is. They snap a picture of him and run him though the face reckognition database, and are able to determine that he’s not a known criminal, or terrorist.

  • Markkalan

    no surprise. here in the NYC ‘burbs our local cops (including a Captain that gets paid over $500,000 year!) have unmarked patrol cars that photograph license plates and check them against a database. They routinely drive these vehicles through parking lots and doughnut shops (again, no surprise).

  • Anonymous

    The headline makes it sound like they are going to hack in to my iPhone and take pictures of me instead of what they are actually doing, which is using available technology to identify and catch criminals.

  • http://www.facebook.com/pietopper Piet Opperman

    I don’t care who photographs me, including police.

  • King686

     $500,000 a year?? hahaha yeah right do some research you fool, no cop makes that

  • King686

     $500,000 a year?? hahaha yeah right do some research you fool, no cop makes that

  • Roger

    I think somebody needs to go back to civics class and read what the 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution says about this.

  • SteelToad

    Somewhat misleading and inflammatory headline.
    If the people are in public and in a situation where there is no expectation of privacy, it’s really not an issue. My biggest concern would be that the iPhone isn’t a very efficient mechanism for doing this, a compact video camera with a wider field of view and streaming transmission would be much more effective.

  • Anonymous

    I think it is a good idea as well, as long as once the scan is complete and we are not in the database, our image will be erased.

  • John T

    There is nothing in the 4th amendment against you being photographed in publ or being approached by a LEO and asked a question

  • http://www.theangryfag.com/ TheAngryFag

    The 4th Amendment says nothing on this because it does not apply.

  • Vfritts

    Ok. If cops can photograph people, why can’t teachers photograph naughty children?

  • John

    I know of a compact video camera with a wide field of view and streaming capability. It even does 720p! It’s called the iPhone. Do you know of another one?

  • Rob

    hmmm…not sure if this is going to stand Constitutional muster.  Some possible 4th Amendment issues:

    What is the probably cause?  

    Would the action pass the standard of Terry v. Ohio 392 US 1 (1968)?

    Does the officer have the right to make you stand still for the picture?  If so, you have been detained without cause.

    In Delaware v. Prouse 440 US 648 (1979), the court ruled that you could not be stopped and checked for a drivers license if there was no probable cause to stop you.  Lacking probable cause, it is hard to see how this would pass the Prouse standard.

    Just because photographers have the right to take pictures in public does not give the state the same right.  

  • /clh

    Rob has hit the nail on the head: citizens have rights and privileges not afforded to the state (government).  This is what the protections offered by the Bill of Rights is all about. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_V4UH3NVK6CKDCZIRWQYN3XQBU4 Tammy

    The police will not be stopping anyone. They will just have the right to photograph you while in public, whether you’re walking, sitting down etc. Just as street photographers do all the time.

  • Privat

    Anyone still doubts the US is a fascist country, even under the pseudo-socialdemocrat Obama?

  • Privat

    Anyone still doubts the US is a fascist country, even under the pseudo-socialdemocrat Obama?

  • http://twitter.com/michaelcourier Michael Courier

    I’m okay with a cop taking my photo, as long as I can: 1) Ask what they are doing 2) Get angry really quick 3) Take out my weapon and beat them with it 4) Break their gear 5) Not get fired.

    All kidding aside, as long as they do not stop me in my endeavors (making me wait while the image is processed) or automatically accuse me of being a criminal, I really don’t care what they do.

  • http://twitter.com/michaelcourier Michael Courier

    I’m okay with a cop taking my photo, as long as I can: 1) Ask what they are doing 2) Get angry really quick 3) Take out my weapon and beat them with it 4) Break their gear 5) Not get fired.

    All kidding aside, as long as they do not stop me in my endeavors (making me wait while the image is processed) or automatically accuse me of being a criminal, I really don’t care what they do.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kimberly.siebert Kimberly Siebert

    if they start taking pictures of me – im droppin trow….  guranteed to be deleted…

  • http://www.facebook.com/kimberly.siebert Kimberly Siebert

    if they start taking pictures of me – im droppin trow….  guranteed to be deleted…

  • http://www.facebook.com/kimberly.siebert Kimberly Siebert

    if they start taking pictures of me – im droppin trow….  guranteed to be deleted…

  • http://www.facebook.com/kimberly.siebert Kimberly Siebert

    if they start taking pictures of me – im droppin trow….  guranteed to be deleted…

  • http://www.facebook.com/kimberly.siebert Kimberly Siebert

    if they start taking pictures of me – im droppin trow….  guranteed to be deleted…

  • http://www.facebook.com/kimberly.siebert Kimberly Siebert

    if they start taking pictures of me – im droppin trow….  guranteed to be deleted…

  • http://www.facebook.com/kimberly.siebert Kimberly Siebert

    if they start taking pictures of me – im droppin trow….  guranteed to be deleted…

  • Melissa

    Most policeman these days are common thugs with badge.

  • Melissa

    Most policeman these days are common thugs with badge.

  • Melissa

    Most policeman these days are common thugs with badge.

  • Melissa

    Most policeman these days are common thugs with badge.

  • http://twitter.com/Blackbird_2 Bob Dunkin

    This is going to be a slippery slope, and will likely end up being challenged, likely for usage guidelines.  After reading the article, it looks like it is only (so far) being used after some other kind of ‘intervention’.  It specifically mentions if they don’t have any other ID.  This is where it could get interesting, since police have in the past been known to demand ID when there was no valid reason to ask for ID.  This, being a tool to ID someone could potentially be used in the same way, forcing an ID from someone who legally does not have to identify themselves.  It ‘may’ also qualify as a stop/search if they ask you to stop so they can take your photo.  This again may need to be solved by the courts (IANAL, so there may already be precedent in this).  You’ll almost certainly have to be stopped for them to take the photo.  From the article, the facial recognition photo is 2 – 5 feet away, and the IRIS scan about 6 inches.  I think the distance needed makes it impossible for them to use this surreptitiously, so there isn’t much of an issue there. 

    The rights granted a photographer out in public are not the same as what the police would have to follow, since they are acting as the agent of the state.  They may have the right to take the photo, but it is what is done with it that is the important part.

  • Josh

    So you can take their image in public but not yours? Double standard, isn’t it?

  • Josh

    So you can take their image in public but not yours? Double standard, isn’t it?

  • Josh

    So you can take their image in public but not yours? Double standard, isn’t it?

  • Josh

    So you can take their image in public but not yours? Double standard, isn’t it?

  • John Kyl

    Earth to Josh. You can’t take pictures of them in public. Haven’t you heard of people being arrested for doing that? 

  • John Kyl

    Earth to Josh. You can’t take pictures of them in public. Haven’t you heard of people being arrested for doing that? 

  • John Kyl

    Earth to Josh. You can’t take pictures of them in public. Haven’t you heard of people being arrested for doing that? 

  • Herecomes

    This all set up for the antichrist

  • Herecomes

    This all set up for the antichrist

  • Herecomes

    This all set up for the antichrist

  • Herecomes

    This all set up for the antichrist

  • Herecomes

    This all set up for the antichrist

  • Herecomes

    This all set up for the antichrist

  • Herecomes

    This all set up for the antichrist

  • Herecomes

    This all set up for the antichrist

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jim-Marsh/674033156 Jim Marsh

    It would probably be difficult to find a cop with the intelligence to use an i Phone anyway.

  • chuck

    wrong

  • http://bounteo.us/ Rob

    Nothing against being photographed, yes. Using the photo to run a background check, possibly. I can see that being considered an unreasonable search. It really hinges on whether or not that process is “searching”. The fact that the process is unreasonable (as there is absolutely zero probable cause in the cited example) is without question.