Retinal scans are the future.

Body scans are quickly becoming a popular way to unlock devices like laptops and phones. They’re easier than passwords and security questions because they don’t require the user to remember anything and unlike keys, you can’t lose the body parts in question (I mean, you CAN, but it shouldn’t be too big a problem not to). But biometric data like retina and fingerprint scans have found a niche purpose in northern Jordan.

At the King Abdullah Park refugee camp, Syrian refugees now use retinal scans to buy groceries, using a United Nations database to confirm their identities. Even the United States relies on biometric data like fingerprints to keep track of its refugees.

Next time you use the iPhone fingerprint scanner to unlock your phone, just remember that for some people, their biometric data is their lifeline.

Photo: WFP/Mohammad Batah