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adam scott (Unregistered Guest)
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Posted on Wednesday, October 31, 2007 - 04:48 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

does my employer have the right to demand my fingerprints, when i have been working for them for over 2 years and it was not there policy when i was given the job it is something that they are now introducing please help
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Posted on Sunday, March 04, 2001 - 06:12 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Talk with an attorney for legal advice. The answer will probably be that you must surrender your fingerprints for the biometric ID system if you really want to keep working there.

The courts have typically not been very sympathetic to claims that fingerprints for reasonable purposes are overly invasive of privacy. Unless you are wearing gloves all the time, you are already leaving your fingerprints all over your workplace, on hundreds of items of paper, etc.

The system you have described is probably a biometric ID system using fingerprints and NOT an AFIS. Such biometric ID systems normally involve the use of a portion of a fingerprint for either one-to-one verification or for comparison inside a tiny database (database of the employees). AFIS would require that you fully roll all ten fingers each time you want to be searched/compared/identified. Biometric ID for employee time recording or for access control, is similar to requiring you to wear a photo ID card around your neck so the security guard at the gate (if you have a gate) can see that it is you and not some coworker posing as you.

Employers like biometrics because it eliminates fraudulent time card punching, reduces employee theft from controlled areas and also has other advantages. For large organizations, thousands of dollars may be saved by replacing computer passwords with biometrics such as computerized facial recognition or a fingerprint. Password issuance costs large companies millions of dollars each year and passwords are not very effective. The cost is high because people keep forgetting them and the system administrator's time is used for replacement passwords. The efficiency is low, because those who don't forget them often have them written on a yellow Post-It note on the side of their computer or under the mouse pad.

If you are a wanted person, are lying to your employer about your true identity, or just have a criminal past you want to keep hidden, the chances that your employer's biometric ID system will reveal your secret is zero... provided you don't start acting so upset about your fingerprints that you attract attention to yourself.

Unless you are an enlisted member of the military (in which case you might be punished for refusing orders), you have every right to tell your employer no thank you very much... that you would prefer to work elsewhere and that they can just keep their biometric ID system. This is a free country and you can choose to work for an employer who does not use an accurate method of identifying employees.

Likewise, you can usually refuse to participate in high school and college yearbook programs (which capture who you are in the form of your unique physical appearance, just as fingerprints are unique). After all, the police sometimes use such yearbooks as a sort of line-up. If a child's parent said that the person they saw abduct their child looked like a college student they have seen in the area, the police may show a college yearbook to the parent and ask if they recognize anyone.

Fingerprints are similar to other forms of personal ID based on who you are (versus based on some name or number someone has associated with you). If the state asks that you surrender your photo and fingerprint(s) to verify that it is you (versus a five-time convicted drunken driver using your name) getting a driver's license, you have a right to tell them that you refuse to participate and would prefer to walk than give up your personal and unique physical identifiers.

You are also free to choose NOT to obtain a passport for travel to foreign countries, since passports the world over contain photographs to enable identification.

If you really hate even the idea of your employer asking for your fingerprints, there are some links at for folks concerned about issues such as yours.
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Posted on Sunday, March 04, 2001 - 12:08 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Out of the blue my employer has decided to introduce a new system of tracking the tardiness of it's employees.....the system they have chosen to purchase is one that will require us to give our fingerprints. The system will then use that information to identify each of us upon arrival and departure of the workplace. My question is: does my employer have the right to demand my fingerprints when this was not something I was told would be requested of me at the time I was hired????

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