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The Texas Blue
Advancing Progressive Ideas

You Just Thought Fingerprints Were Private

Via Think Progress, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff recently served up a real dog's breakfast on the topic of fingerprints as biometric data and privacy. While attending a conference in Canada, Secretary Chertoff had the following exchange with a reporter:

QUESTION: Some are raising that the privacy aspects of this thing, you know, sharing of that kind of data, very personal data, among four countries is quite a scary thing.

SECRETARY CHERTOFF: Well, first of all, a fingerprint is hardly personal data because you leave it on glasses and silverware and articles all over the world, they’re like footprints. They’re not particularly private.

Funny thing is, DHS doesn't agree (link opens a PDF). Apparently Secretary Chertoff also thinks it's very difficult to fake a fingerprint.

It all makes you wonder where these people came from and just exactly what they do with their time. They're definitely not using their time to read up on core competencies.

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