Security of the Future: Track Terror Intent in Faces

Project seeks to use biometric clues to point out bad guys
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 28, 2010 11:01 AM CDT
A screenshot from the Minority Report trailer.   (YouTube)

(Newser) – It sounds like something out of Minority Report, but Homeland Security scientists are actually working on a projects they think will be able to identify potential terrorists based on the way they blink, breathe, or balance their weight. Researchers are testing a variety of biometric sensors, in the hopes of identifying malicious intent. “We're looking pre-event,” one researcher tells the LA Times. “We're trying to detect a crime before it has occurred.”

Another division has spent $20 million to develop a computer program that could identify bad guys by scanning their face for tell-tale “micro-expressions,” like a suspicious quiver of a cheek muscle. Both systems envision being deployed in airports, with suspicious passengers pulled out for additional screening. But they admit, the technology has limits. “Let's be clear,” said one research director, “There is no terrorist cue, no Pinocchio growing of the nose to indicate a plotting terrorist.”

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