It took 33 years but Robocop is now here. Well, not exactly, but the rise of the police state fueled by advancements in technology have given birth to a heads up display equipped helmet sure to please the most anxious of peace officers. It’s called a “Smart Helmet” and it can screen airport passengers for the COVID-19 virus as well as provide the scanning officer with other vital records.
Public officials in Flint, Michigan cannot provide clean drinking water to their residents but travelers to Bishop International Airport can get a glimpse of the new robotic cop helmets where they’re currently deployed.
Under the guise of screening passengers for COVID-19, the Smart Helmet, produced by KeyBiz based in Italy, can scan travelers’ body temperatures from over 20 feet away.
But the Smart Helmet is not limited to temperature body scans which any laser guided thermometer can do, not in the slightest. Facial recognition software is installed which can provide the police officer with information related to outstanding warrants, if an individual is identified on a terror watch list or a no-fly list, and can read license plates for outstanding warrants, stolen vehicle information, criminal histories, etc. Even if you are completely innocent, you will be subject to these scans.
Temperature scans can be done at a distance of 21 feet or less. The helmets have already been deployed in Italy and elsewhere around the world. Michigan’s ABC12 reports if someone’s temperature is in excess of 100.4 degrees, more investigation into the traveler’s health will be conducted to determine if the passenger is too sick to travel.
Anyone who isn’t a passenger who registers a temperature above 100.4 degrees will be asked to leave the terminal building after police conduct some limited coronavirus contact tracing to find out what areas of the building may have been exposed.
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We at TFTP have warned our readers for quite some time the COVID-19 pandemic would be used as an onus for a greater invasion of privacy. Some of us here at TFTP are old enough to remember when boarding a plane was a simple as buying a ticket and getting aboard. Fast forward nearly 20 years and there are quite a few things which happen the minute your ticket is purchased.
First, your name, age, and birth date are checked to see if you’ve been added to a terror watch list, a no-fly list or otherwise. Then, when you’re cleared to travel, you must soon possess a “Real ID”. Without it (come October) you won’t be allowed to fly. Upon arrival to the airport, your identification is scanned and further checked in databases for any flags which may arise.
Afterward, all of your pockets must be emptied, your shoes taken off, your belts, hats, and metal jewelry removed. You’re placed into a sniffing device to check to see if you’re carrying the scent of bomb making materials.
Next, your entire body image is scanned. Later, a total stranger may pat you down and grope your private parts as you wait for the all clear sign to be given at which time you can retrieve your belongings. But that’s only if the x-ray technician doesn’t think your hand sanitizer has too many ounces in its container.
Now, it seems Mr. Robocop will take your temperature against your will, search through your criminal history and examine your facial features. All of these things will likely be cataloged in another alphabet agency’s database.
The entire invasion of privacy will fall under the auspices of fears surrounding a fairly mild pandemic using slogans like “it’s for your health and safety." And you thought it was about keeping America safe from terrorism. Think again, this makes me long for the good ole days when the only danger in flying was smelling like cigarette smoke from all the puffers aboard.