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UK Police Implement Roadside Fingerprinting Tools 191

mormop writes to tell us the BBC is reporting that police in the UK have implemented a pilot program that allows officers to fingerprint drivers using a small handheld scanner connected to a database of approximately 6.5 million prints. From the article: "Officers promise prints will not be kept on file but concerns have been raised about civil liberties. [...] It is primarily aimed at motorists because banned or uninsured drivers often give false names, although pedestrians could also be asked to give prints if they are suspected to have committed an offence."
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UK Police Implement Roadside Fingerprinting Tools

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  • by Odiumjunkie ( 926074 ) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @01:42PM (#16953210) Journal
  • by DigitalRaptor ( 815681 ) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @01:43PM (#16953224) Homepage
    Privacy is a myth.

    I did a search a for a company I hadn't done business with in 10 years (no kidding) and visited their website for the first time ever and a week later their catalog showed up in the mail.

    Somehow they had the cookies and partnerships to identify me and send me a catalog in my name.

    If that's the extent of privacy anyway, then I have no problem with people being stopped with reason being required to give fingerprints. In fact, I think the same should be required on any flight entering or leaving the country, if it isn't already. And those should be stored.

  • by morgan_greywolf ( 835522 ) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @01:49PM (#16953368) Homepage Journal
    Of course, news of a dip-stick test was released two days ago []. I imagine cops might be given authority to draw blood at the scene of a crime and use standard testing kits installed in their cars. Scary? Yeah, kind of--although I think probably cause would have to be very very high for this kind of invasion of privacy. Any lawyers out there know what the law (local or federal) says about forced blood & UA analysis?

    Well, I'm no lawyer, but the courts have ruled time and time again that roadside breathalyser tests are legal. The basic idea is that you don't have to consent to a breathalyser test; however, the police equally don't have to let you go if they suspect you'd fail it. Essentially you are within your Constitutional right to refuse one, but the police are also within their authority to arrest you on the spot (since they have probable cause) and you'll have to explain yourself to the judge, while the cop tells that judge his estimation of whether or not you were impaired at the time you refused the breathalyser.

    I imagine that roadside "dip-sticking" and roadside fingerprinting would fall under the same category.

  • by Daemonstar ( 84116 ) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @01:50PM (#16953406)
    Only registered medical professionals can draw blood for tests (at least in Texas), peace officers and jailers cannot. You have to have a certain certification to do breathalizer tests, otherwise it can be brought up in court and have the charges possibly dismissed. When arrested for DWI, the officer can ask you for either a breath or blood test (at least in Texas, and my local city's police policy is to ask for both, but legally it isn't required to ask for both, only one of the officer's choosing). If you choose to refuse, your license is automatically suspended for 180 days (90 if you choose the test, but fail). The reason being when you received your driver's license, you agreed to take the breath/blood test ("implied consent") and that, if you refuse, you forfeit your licensed status for a period of time.
  • Typical (Score:5, Informative)

    by Jaknet ( 944488 ) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @01:55PM (#16953512)
    I submitted this 6 hours before this one was sumbitted.... but because scuttlemonkey is a regular submitter mine gets binned and it included the link to the BBC story as well.

    Yes I know I'm going to get modded down.... but as it seems to be only the favourites here who are allowed to submit... sod it.
  • Re:Probable cause (Score:3, Informative)

    by Who235 ( 959706 ) <> on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @02:33PM (#16954414)
    Well, there is something we can do, but we have to do it together.

    People around here are (rightfully) always quoting the Constitution. Allow me to take a line or two from one of our other venerated documents.

    --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
  • by novus ordo ( 843883 ) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @02:39PM (#16954516) Journal
    In the US, when you sign for your license you agree to accept breathalizer test. You can refuse to take it once prompted, but you will lose your license. I don't know if they can then bring criminal charges against you though.
  • by RubberBaron ( 990477 ) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @02:45PM (#16954616)
    "The system will link up to the DVLA, Police National Computer and a National Insurance Database..." te_recognition_poised/ []
  • by terrymr ( 316118 ) <> on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @03:51PM (#16955944)
    You're right ... Actually the 'tax' referred to is technically called the Road Fund License, you get a round thing to put in the window to show your vehicle is licensed. There is no british equivalent to the registration document, you just have a title (log book, V5) and a license disc. The license is required to be displayed on the vehicle if it is driven or parked on a public street. Drivers are not required to carry proof of insurance or drivers license but if you're not carrying it when an officer wants to see it you are given a few days to take them to a local police station.
  • Re:Probable cause (Score:4, Informative)

    by Gandalf_the_Beardy ( 894476 ) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @04:40PM (#16956748)
    Of course that is what they said about DNA sampling in the UK. Then when they found out the police had been illegally storing a massive database, they just changed the law to make it legal. At that point with the obvious duplicity of the police I decided there and then I'd just refuse full stop to help them in any way. They will do the same with the fingerprint checker, I have no doubt of that.

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