In the age of iris scans and facial recognition software, biometrics experts like to point out: The eyes don’t lie. And that has made tradecraft all the more difficult for U.S. spies.
After billions of dollars of investment — largely by the U.S. government — the routine collection and analysis of fingerprints, iris scans, and facial images are helping to ferret out terrorists and immigration fraudsters all over the world. But it has also made it harder for undercover agents to remain anonymous.
Gone are the days of entering a country with a false passport and wearing a wig and a mustache to hide your true identity. Once an iris scan is on record, it becomes nearly impossible to evade detection.
“In the 21st century, you can’t do any of that because of biometrics,” said retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, the former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency.