Boarding Your Next International Flight From the US Might Require a Retinal Scan

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It’s not enough that you may be required to show your identification to get off a domestic US flight, now you could be subject to a retinal scan by US Marshals, after you’ve started boarding.

Customs & Border patrol officials required passengers on a flight from San Francisco to New York Wednesday night to show their IDs in order to disembark.

Officials were in search of  a legal immigrant who was being deported for multiple criminal convictions.

Now there’s even more alarming news (h/t: Amanda). Apparently US Marshals are requiring retinal scans on some international flights (out of Atlanta). After you’ve already had your ticket scanned and your passport checked.

Halfway down the jetbridge, there was a new layer of security. Two US Marshals, heavily armed and dressed in dystopian-style black regalia, stood next to an upright machine with a glowing green eye. Every passenger, one by one, was told to step on a mat and look into the green scanner. It was scanning our eyes and matching that scan with the passport, which was also scanned (yet again).

At which point you don’t have many options for preserving your privacy. Yes, you could decide to refuse and forfeit your ticket, but even then turning around would probably be viewed as suspicious and subject you to even more invasive information gathering measures.

I value national security, but not at all costs. I’ve already volunteered a lot of my information, including finger prints, when I applied for Global Entry, but I find the idea of a mandatory retinal scan very alarming. Opting out seems problematic at best.

What do you think?

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