Share this article

print logo

Letter: Biometric scanning is an invasion of privacy

Biometric scanning is an invasion of privacy

The Republican Party’s claim to be against Big Government and government intrusion into our private lives is pure propaganda as demonstrated again by the GOP’s proposed border biometric testing bill. If enacted, this insidious new law would require everyone leaving the United States to be subject to fingerprinting and/or iris scans. So far, objections have focused on whether this “testing” would cause backups at Canadian border crossings. While this is an important consideration, a much larger issue is being ignored.

Since when is it OK for the federal government to gather biometric data on ordinary law-abiding Americans? And if everyone is subject to this intrusive personal data collection at border crossings, how long before it would be allowed and required elsewhere, at airports and traffic stops for example, subjecting all Americans to it?

While government has the right to fingerprint criminals and those arrested and charged with crimes, it does not otherwise have the right to obtain our fingerprints. Moreover, gaining personal identifying information by scanning the iris in our eyeballs is even more morally and politically objectionable because it would eventually provide the federal government with the ability to track our movements with surveillance camera technology which, as we all know, is increasingly in use in public spaces. Is this the kind of future we want? I think most Americans would find it abhorrent.

The Republican Party deserves severe censure for this radical, ill-conceived proposal. The border biometric testing bill is dangerous and should be rejected in the strongest possible terms.

Walter Simpson

Amherst