University of the North, in Prince George, British Columbia has caught the eye of the media today – as they have just started rolling out some new technology in the Athletics department…
Biometric scanning… of fingerprints.
To allow access to sports facilities, UNBC students are now required to give up their valuable, unique and very personal identity to the University… so they can get into the gym.
The American made technology was quickly implemented with little discussion. It has, not surprisingly, raised the ire of the student body.
I was curious about this so I did a little scanning myself.
And I found a 2002 article about a hotel in Saskatchewan that instituted biometric scanning to replace punch clocks for staff…
Ostensibly because staff kept losing their ID cards.
That and finger prints do not rub off.
I have a problem with all of this – just a little too much big-brother for my taste.
Back to Saskatchewan for a moment – the Human Rights commission and the Labor relations board said it was OK and that there is nothing Illegal about demanding peoples finger-prints as a condition of employment.
Right. And there is nothing ethical about it either.
Additional reading: A website in the UK called Leave Them Kids Alone dedicated to fighting the trend towards fingerprinting all children…
CBC picks up the story here