NEW technology can be a mixed blessing.
For every advance in more automated ways of doing things there are concerns that it might not be as safe or as reliable or as user-friendly as the original. But the fingerprint technology tested in West Yorkshire which is to be carried by front-line police officers throughout the country can surely only be a good thing. Fingerprint recognition itself has been around for years, and most people who unlock their phone with a thumb or fingerprint would never go back to a four-digit code. The police are certainly welcoming the new move and so should we. Not only will this save police admin time (the average officer, they predict, will be able to spend an hour a day extra on the front line) but it is an awful lot cheaper than the current technology.
Is it safe? Well, they promise the fingerprints are deleted from the mobile device after checking so there should be no record of your print kept on the device.
There is a “big brother” element to the devices - but like many ways of identifying us why should we have anything to fear if we have nothing to hide? It could certainly cut down the time police have to waste when someone gives false details.
An unexpected extra is that it can be used to identify people in an emergency situation as quickly as possible and that’s not about crime, but humanity.