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Do You think fingerprints are an invasion of privacy?

Discussion in 'Criminal Procedure, Criminal Court' started by tsubo, Nov 1, 2001.

Do you think fingerprinting is an invasion of privacy?

Poll closed Nov 26, 2001.
  1. Yes, absolutely!

    1 vote(s)
    33.3%
  2. Yes, but sometimes necessary.

    2 vote(s)
    66.7%
  3. No, I think everyone should have one!

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. I really don't care either way.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
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  1. tsubo

    tsubo Law Topic Starter New Member

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    To continue beating a dead horse I have the following poll:
     
  2. rachel

    rachel New Member

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    I think it's important to have fingerprinting the more serious the issue. If you have kids' safety at stake you really should consider this important. They can't protect themselves like adults. I know it's scary as to where it stops but you can do more with a social security card and credit card number than with fingerprints.
     
  3. tsubo

    tsubo Law Topic Starter New Member

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    cards vs finger prints

    I agree with you that people who work closely with the elderly and children should have a complete background check and employment history done. I am not disputing the need for protecting our children.

    However, these checks can be performed without a finger print. It's an unnecessary invasion of personal privacy. A privacy that can never be regained, I might add.

    The issue I think you are referring to about social security cards and birthdates is concerning the publics fraudulent use of that information. That's not the focus of my objection. Certainly that is bad too, however, I am concerned with the ability of a federal agency to track law-abiding citizens. People that have been arrested and convicted of crimes have lost that right to privacy as far as I am concerned, but a person that is a productive member of society need not appear in a criminal database. It may seem small, however this is one more link in the chain that forms an oppressive government. Ever heard the parable of the frog in the pot of boiling water? He doesn't sense the change in temperature if you change it ever so slightly. Though by the time he realizes he's getting cooked.. he's already cooked.

    :p

    Tsubo--
     
  4. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    I don't disagree with you that it is scary to have a central repository for information -- but how does having fingerprints on file change the manner in which you deal with life? It gets a little more of a sensitive and disturbing issue when you start talking about DNA samples on file -- what can someone do with your fingerprints? I can understand problems with DNA.

    There is another component that comes into play -- cost of prevention. Having fingerprints on file assists the authorities in tracking crime. I don't see the dangers in fingerprinting that you state in the abstract, versus DNA materials, of "yet another item in the governmental database."
     
  5. tsubo

    tsubo Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Prints and DNA

    I appreciate your response Mr. LawProfessor. We must agree that there is a big difference between a fingerprint and a DNA sample (or "blueprint") on file. The issue is clearly, How Much Control Is Too Much?

    I think I am not alone when I say that the general population would object to that kind of intrusion. However, as I mentioned in my last post, one would not jump straight to DNA mapping, for the citizens would quickly dispell that notion. One would slowly tighten the net... raise the temperature 1 degree at a time so it would not attract attention/objection. I think it is in order to say that I am not saying the government wants to map our DNA and make clones of us or something equally far-fetched. The step towards quietly cataloging all citizens, both criminal, and upstanding, law-abiding people will slowly errode the self evident human rights to freedoms America is known for. It may not be a large step, It may not draw the media's attention, however, it is still a very powerful ability gained by the government.

    I agree with you that having a finger print of every person in the country could help convict criminals. I do not believe it would *prevent* crime. However, this gain in something that we all would agree is good, comes at the cost of our right to privacy. If this one right can be violated for the "greater good" where will it stop. The answer is... it won't stop. Slowly and methodically, our freedoms will be erroded, until there is little real difference between other countrys and ours.

    I don't think people in general understand that freedom, if it is true freedom, has to allow for sick, twisted, demented minds to operate. It is a shame that everyone can't be good people, but everyone is not and you can't treat everyone like bad people and say that it is protecting our freedoms and liberties as Americans.

    If you try to eliminate pain and suffering by stopping crime you have to remove their ability to go against the law. If you remove the ability to commit a crime... then this is not a free country. They should be caught and punished, but you have to give them the opportunity to choose.

    If you gain the ability to squelch those independant-thinkers bent on self-gain, pain, and destruction you have taken away everyones rights and freedoms. The dark side to freedom is that in order to have it, others have the room to do bad things. Personally, I would rather take my chances that a random criminal act happens to me, than have the government breathing down everyones neck some much that no one can take can take a crap without the government knowing what color it is!:eek:

    It is not that them having my fingerprint would directly impact my life as it is today. It would appear to have little effection on the surface. However, if it is finger prints today, it will be face scanning tomorrow. With technology growing as it is, you will not be able to go anywhere without the government literally able to map out your day.

    I am a network administrator and I deal with databases and computers all day long. The ability of tracking people is made very simple by indexing through one unique trait. It may be a finger print, it may be a number derived from your DNA model. The simple truth is: combine databases of every federally owned camera, with banks, airports and DMV's credit card databases, active GPS links, index them all with one unique indentifier, and you can paint a terrifingly accurate representation of *any* persons 24 hour day. Where they went, what they bought (item for item). From this data, you can develop profiles from the patterns in the data. The invasion of privacy will not yield. You will not have privacy.

    Before you blow the whistle and file me under "neurotic" or "fanatic" I want you to know, I am not saying they are going to do all this stuff... I am merely saying that they have the *ability* to do this stuff. Once they gain the ability, you can not reverse it. "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" not allowing the small violations will help keep the big ones from slipping in.

    Looking forward to your response.
     

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