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News Link • Police State

Fingerprint scanner use raises privacy concerns in N.C.

• McClatchy News

Next month, 13 law enforcement agencies in the region will begin using a new handheld device that lets an officer scan a person's fingerprints and seek a match in an electronic database - all without going anywhere.

Police say taking fingerprints in the field will allow them to work more efficiently and safely. But the ACLU North Carolina in Raleigh worries that the device may allow officers to violate privacy rights.

 

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Comment by Justin Tyme
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[JT-I just love this:]

"Part of the danger is the idea of the government creating a database on its citizens," said Sarah Preston, policy director for ACLU North Carolina. "Citizens should be allowed some degree of privacy."

But those concerns are unwarranted, said Sam Pennica, director of the City-County Bureau of Identification, the agency that processes fingerprints in Wake County and is providing the devices to local agencies. The software for the device, known as Rapid Identification COPS Technology, would not store fingerprints of any individuals, even those charged with a crime, Pennica said.

"It will not retain the fingerprints of any individuals under any circumstances," he said, adding that fingerprints would only be compared to those in the Wake County database. "They will not be submitted to any state or federal agency."

 [JT-Yeah, where have we heard this before?  Ofcourse, they can say the device won't store the fingerprint.  However, the transaction and the "signature" created by the software which is what really is used to compare images in the computer realm are sure to be stored.  Otherwise, there would be no method for auditing the system.]  

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