My Green Card has my fingerprint right on it. This doesn't trouble me much in practice, but it bothers me in principle. As a non-citizen, I am under higher scrutiny than the native-born children and grand-children of non-citizens. It's like making me to pee in a cup (implying I am lying when I SAY that I do not do drugs) while someone born here is presumed to not be a user at face value.
Lately, it is necessary to err on the side of caution, and in practice, being printed costs me nothing but a little cognitive dissonance with which I can live. But, in the spirit of all men being created equal, and people being assumed innocent until proven guilty, philosophically, I would like to see either everyone printed, or no one at all without a due-process warrant brought on by reasonable suspicion of that individual having commited a crime.
If and when I choose to become a Citizen, my prints will remain on file, I am sure. And suddenly, my legacy of being a non-native will put me at a disadvantage, since if I leave my prints at the scene of a crime, without ever having been a part of it, my name will immediately come up in the database as a hit, not as an 'unidentified'.
You see, by coming to the US for a better life, I automatically have a record. You, as a native born Citizen, do not.
Now as for the liquor store scanning licenses.. I've had that same experience. From a technological perspective, I thought it was very cool, but I agree, the potential for privacy abuse is significant.
I know women who do not purchase alcohol at certain places because the guy behind the counter is 'creepy', and they do not want to expose their names and addresses to him. Yes, it's a bit paranoid, but they have every right to the level of privacy they choose. Should they now worry about protecting their information from the other people who might be in the store, and happen to glance at the screen as their information is displayed? Should they worry about the guy in the back room, who is looking at a second screen, and at the security camera? Or the guy who works a different shift, whom they try to avoid, who could easily roll back through the transactions?
Immediate, personal privacy is a hair's breadth from being violated here, and we've not even gotten into the potential for profiling, which recording customer information holds.
We're willing to accept many violations of our privacy in exchange for convenience. I like good imported beer for example. If my buying record is kept, then at checkout, the clerk could see what I like, and preemptively try to sell me on the new line of Belgian lambics that they will start carrying next month. Not in response to my question, but simply because of the info that pops up when he scans my license, he could say "Hey, come in next Friday. We'll be getting those Lambics, and a fresh batch of Leffe". I would of course say "Thank you", since I AM interested, but I would have a sticky shadow follow me home.
I don't like people analysing my drinking habits. And the prospect of my health insurance company buying that data really bothers me.
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