NZ, Aus: Limit fingerprints

March 3, 2008 at 11:20 pm Leave a comment

Recent reports from both sides of the Tasman have once again shown public resistance to widespread fingerprinting. At least for citizens…

In NZ, following significant negative reactions from public consultation, police will only have the power to collect and store fingerprints “for the purpose of enabling the commencement of a prosecution.” Police will not be able to require fingerprints from people suspected of non-prosecutable offences, such as minor traffic infringements, or for routine identity checking.

Further, they would have to destroy those records as soon as practical once they decide not to arrest or charge a person with an offence, or if the person is acquitted.

This is quite a change from the original proposal that led to a very interesting debate about mobile scanners in Parliament.

Across the Tasman, ZDNet Australia reports that “there is a culture of resistance to fingerprinting in the community- a factor which may be holding back government from adopting the technology…Fingerprinting in Australia is not seen as an inviting technology.”

Further, CIO Magazine reports that despite a new ISO standard to provide a security framework for using biometrics for authentication of individuals in financial services (ISO 19092:2008), Australian banks are likely to restrict themselves to only exploring more use of voice verification.

As the ZDNet article points out, the Australian government continues to have a big interest in introducing biometrics. And, just as in other countries such as the UK, they want to start with non-citizens.

Not surprisingly, their choice is a group of people who have limited capacity to object.

Entry filed under: Aus, biometrics, government, identity, NZ, privacy, UK.

The power of choice US: Admiring the TSA

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