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US crime predicting technology tests draw Minority Report comparisons

The US Department of Homeland Security has begun testing crime predicting technology that is drawing comparisons to the science fiction film Minority Report.

The US Department of Homeland Security has begun testing crime predicting technology that is drawing comparisons to the science fiction film Minority Report.
In the 2002 Hollywood blockbuster Minority Report, Tom Cruise plays a police officer in a specialised 'PreCrime' department

Using cameras and sensors the "pre-crime" system measures and tracks changes in a person's body movements, the pitch of their voice and the rhythm of their speech.

It also monitors breathing patterns, eye movements, blink rate and alterations in body heat, which are used to assess an individual's likelihood to commit a crime.

The Future Attribute Screening Technology (FAST) programme is already being tested on a group of government employees who volunteered to act as guinea pigs.

The first test was carried out at an undisclosed location in the north-eastern United States.

According to the Department of Homeland Security it was not at an airport, but was at a "large venue that is a suitable substitute for an operational setting".

Ultimately, the system could be used not only at airports but at border crossings and any large scale public events like sports matches or political conventions.

However, civil liberties groups have called it a "pseudo technological approach" and raised privacy concerns.

In the 2002 Hollywood blockbuster Minority Report, Tom Cruise plays a police officer in a specialised "PreCrime" department.

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