Using Biometric Databases to Help with Counter Terrorism

by Willen L
Summary: The iraq war is over but the U.S. is keeping a database of about 3 million Iraqis using biometric technology and also has a database of afghan’s. The U.S. military has been using these biometric scanners throughout the war and used it to collect biometric data if they wanted to become iraqi police, work on U.S. bases, suspected insurgents, or even if they lived in cities that were deemed “violent”.  The data is owned by the U.S. and cannot be accessed by iraqi’s due to the state of Iraq at this time. The U.S. believes that this database would be a great tool for counter-terrorism from identifying suspected terrorist but they also said that it’s not a “targeting list” but an “Intelligence Tool”.

Reflection: This article is related to the advantages of databases in chapter 1. I like the fact that it tells us how we use today’s technology for solutions for problem’s that are varying in degree. I also like how the article gives us a practical example of how we use databases today and how useful they are like the war on terrorism. I think that this data that the military collected is invaluable. Although it can be controversial topic of rights of the data, I believe that having this data is crucial for the war on terrorism as data can be a very powerful tool at our disposal.

Ackerman, S. (2011, December 21). U.S. Holds On to Biometrics Database of 3 Million Iraqis. Wired. Retrieved January 06, 2012, from

4 thoughts on “Using Biometric Databases to Help with Counter Terrorism”

  1. Great to know that databases are helping! I think keeping information about criminals is effective but only criminals. I value my privacy and am sure that other people do as well.

  2. I’m quite interested to see where biometrics go in the future. If Disney World can use them to make sure the same person uses the same ticket over a few days, how long will it be before I won’t need to carry around any money or credit cards because I’ll be able to simply look into a retina scanner and put my thumb down? Some of those cheesy movies from the 90’s might have been on to something.

  3. I dread the time it becomes required in the U.S. It can be useful but I feel it’s more harmful than useful. Hopefully the databases stay secure so that it is not used with malicious intent.

  4. I’ll have to agree with Mike and hope that the databases do stay secured. It would be horrible on so many levels if this database was hacked.

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