No prints, no rental car

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Car Rental News - Monday, 3rd December 2007


Fingerprints required for car hire in Essex

The idea of getting fingerprinted often connotes some form of malfeasance or affront to social order. To most of us, our fingerprints being stored is equitable to criminal gongs-on. This engrained notion will have to be dispelled more and more as the 21st century rolls on. Some countries now require your 'biometric' information to enter the country, and the practice has filtered down to the industry level of something as simple as renting a car.

Essex Police in Great Britain have decided to test the parameters of such a system, and car hire companies will participate, whether they wish to or not. Cooperation is mandatory, and according to Detective Sergeant Vic Murphy, a Stansted Airport officer says, "It's not intrusive really. It's different - and people need to adjust to it. It's not Big Brother, it's about protecting people's identities. The police will never see these thumbprints unless a crime is committed."

Despite the ease with which the police force has supported the program (they're all quite familiar with the fingerprinting process after all), some who are not desensitized to giving their prints are having trouble adapting. Many customers consider it an invasive and disproportionate rule.

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