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On-Demand Fingerprint Machines Let Police ID in the Street


Mobile fingerprint scanners are hitting the beat in the UK, helping police officers issue identity checks on the street. Right now, police must take a suspect into custody to issue fingerprint checks.

Thanks to the scanner, the size of a cell phone, the time of checking identity would go form from 67 minutes, to five, thus reducing the number of police needed by 366 officers. The next step would be to transfer mugshot images to verify identity when fingerprints are not available. To see why some worry that the government is overreaching with this technology, read more.

Officials insist that the prints will be deleted once checked. Proponents also believe that the procedure would reduce the number of mistaken arrests. Yet, others worry that the pricey gadgets could violate civil liberties by increasing surveillance and paving the way for an expansion of powers toward totalitarianism.

Do you worry that governments may collect too much biometric information about citizens? Is the UK asking people to give up their freedom and identity for the illusion of security?

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