UK Police to Receive Portable Fingerprint Scanners
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Obviously, such a measure does nothing more than to raise new privacy concerns, the British authorities becoming “famous” after losing private data of millions of people. However, police forces assures Britons that fingerprints will not be stored into government databases, so there should be no worry that their information could get stolen. But even so, civil rights groups have already shown their disagreement concerning a potential introduction of such devices, pointing that using portable fingerprint scanners may be a violation of UK laws.
"Saving time with new technology could help police performance but officers must make absolutely certain that they take fingerprints only when they suspect an individual of an offence and can't establish his identity,” Gareth Crossman, the director of Liberty, a civil rights group in UK, was quoted as saying to The Guardian by Pocket-Lint.
As mentioned, similar data losses occurred in the past, with private data belonging to approximately 25 million Britons lost somewhere between two government departments. The whole data leakage took place last year when HRMC, the non-ministerial tax-responsible British department, lost two CDs containing information such as names and addresses belonging to 25 million people. Moreover, there were cases when hospital workers lost unprotected laptops containing unencrypted patient details.
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