UK Car Rentals to Require Fingerprints
Welcome to a surveillance society:
If you want to hire a car at Stansted Airport, you now need to give a fingerprint.
The scheme being tested by Essex police and car hire firms, is not voluntary. Every car rental customer must take part.
No fingerprint, no car hire at Stansted airport.
These are stored by the hire firms -- and will be handed over to the police if the car is stolen or used for another crime.
This is the most amusing bit:
"It's not intrusive really. It's different -- and people need to adjust to it. It's not Big Brother, it's about protecting people's identities. The police will never see these thumbprints unless a crime is committed."
What are the odds that no crime will ever be committed?
Fingerprints are becoming more common in the UK:
But regardless of any ideological arguments, the use of biometric technology -- where someone is identified by a physical characteristic -- is already entering the mainstream.
Biometric UK passports were introduced this year, using facial mapping information stored on a microchip, and more than a million have already been issued.
A shop in the Bluewater centre in Kent has used a fingerprint checking scheme to tackle credit card fraud. And in Yeovil, Somerset, fingerprinting has been used to cut town-centre violence, with scanners helping pick out troublemakers.
It's not just about crime. Biometric recognition is also being pitched as more convenient for shoppers.
Pay By Touch allows customers to settle their supermarket bill with a fingerprint rather than a credit card. With three million customers in the United States, this payment system is now being tested in the UK, in three Co-op supermarkets in Oxfordshire.
Posted on November 14, 2006 at 7:37 AM • 59 Comments