Biometric IDs: Your Fingerprints, Please

Today, the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and Border Security held a hearing called "Ensuring a Legal Workforce: What Changes Should be Made to Our Current Employment Verification System?" The subcommittee considered a biometric ID system to determine work eligibility. That means going to a government office, showing them a photo ID or birth certificate, and then presenting a biometric, likely a fingerprint. Those fingerprints would then be placed in a database or on a national ID card. Everyone—and we mean everyone—would then be required to present their fingerprint to their employers for verification of their work eligibility against government databases.

Bad idea.

Would anyone be surprised to learn that government databases aren't exactly shining models of accuracy? In 2007, then-Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff proposed the No-Match rule, which would use the Social Security Administration (SSA) database to determine employment eligibility. Problem: The SSA's databases contain a plethora of discrepancies — 17.8 million of them, according to the Office of the Inspector General (OIG). The OIG also reports that 12.7 million of those 17.8 million discrepancies in SSA's database belong to native-born U.S. citizens. That's more than 70 percent.

You can see how determining work eligibility with a federal database isn't so swift.

In testimony submitted to the subcommittee, ACLU attorney Chris Calabrese points out that a biometric national ID system would not only create a "No-Work List" ensnaring lawful workers — like American citizens — due to the high error rate in federal databases, but it would also establish a hugely expensive new federal bureaucracy. We know this because its costs would be similar to those of the Read ID debacle. With the Real ID Act of 2005, federalizing state drivers' licenses would cost more than $23 billion; with the addition of a biometric ID system, the cost of the system would be, well, hard to imagine. We're talking bailout amounts here, people.

It's pretty safe to say whatever it costs, it's a bill the states don't need right now, when they're furloughing their employees and paying bills with IOUs.

Coming soon: Why biometric ID's won't help with the "immigration problem."

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These 'biometrics' are very real REQUIREMENTS NOW for the American truckdriver. YOU MUST BE evaluated as a 'Threat Assessment' to hold the HAZMAT endorsement on your CDL. The current HAZMAT endorsement as part of the commercial drivers license, was changed on 05/31/2005. If the driver choses to hold the HM endorsement, its not just 'a fingerprint'...its all your 10 fingerprints and both your paw prints, and they additionally take your thumbprints twice. Theses prints are turn thru the F.B.I. as a "TSA/ Transportation Safety Administration~~BACKGROUND CHECK~~" It is an additional REQUIREMENT if you chose to hold or apply for the HM endorsement, to submit: SS#, and 2 forms of identification, like birth certificate(original), or passport. Also REQUIRED is a 'chain of custody' form, to be completed. It is also REQUIRED a fee $89.25 to process your biometric information, typically paid direcly to the 'security subcontrator' namely: also known as IBT/Integrated Biometric Technology. You pay with your credit card. You also have to submit a 'tox screen' and remain subject to tox screen random tests~for the duration while holding the HM endorsement. The new biometric REQUIRMENTS, are additional and preliminary too passing the HAZMAT knowledge test, and of course your driving record assessment, actually completes the basic HM endorsement requirements for your CDL. There are also further training/testing requirements, to maintain your HM endorsement.

Now couple all of that, with the fact that you might make $10/hr. driving a non-union truck and you might realize just how lovely this country has become.



I, for one, am firmly against any private company creating, maintaining or having posesson of our most important personal data, bio-metric images and our fingerprints. This data is lawfully collected by the FBI, our local police, the military, and our intelligence agencies

There is absolutely no need for Banks, Insurance Companies, or Dry Cleaners to collect fingerprints, Bio-metric or other data.

Stop the madness.

Stay Informed