Cops can catch criminals with iPhone apps now

Anyone who's seen an episode of Cops knows that getting a straight answer from a criminal suspect can be almost impossible. Now cops in Brockton Massachusetts are using specially equipped iPhones to make the job a whole lot easier.

The cop simply uses the iPhone to take a picture of the suspect, which then connects to the department's database and makes a biometric comparison. If the perp has been arrested before, the cop will quickly get his complete file, including information about prior arrests and convictions. What's cool about this, is that it not only stops repeat offenders from lying about who they are, but can also help to confirm the story of someone who says they were just caught up by mistake.

Future plans include adding iris scanning and fingerprint matching to the system, but for now it's being used only by the Brockton Police gang unit using the facial recognition technology.

Privacy groups haven't yet had much to say about this, although I expect we'll see some backlash over the banking of all of those iPhone pics of people who aren't even arrested. Like most security tech, this looks like it should work fine so long as nobody abuses the system.