U.S. Collecting Biometric Data On Millions in War Zones

In its two major war zones, the U.S. military is collecting biometric data on millions of Afghans and Iraqis in order to keep track of their identities. The New York Times reports that the U.S. recorded data for more than 2 million Iraqis and and a million and a half Afghans, mostly men in the 15 to 64 age range likely to fill insurgent ranks. The digitized scans of people’s eyes, faces and fingerprints can be quickly sorted to establish matches, and hand-held devices allow the data to be collected and searched in the field. The program started in earnest in Fallujah, Iraq in 2004, and Gen. David Petraeus expanded the practice in 2007 to both war zones.