I just read an article in the Electronic Frontier Foundation new site that has informed us that a new development by the FBI has occurred with apparently very little media coverage.

Hmmm, why little media coverage on something that affects so many Americans?

The FBI has combined their Civil and Criminal fingerprint databases into one searchable database.

Did you know about this?

I did not. This is proof that this new development did not have much media attention.  I read news sites every day and did not see this.

So, what does this mean to you?

If you have ever had your fingerprints taken for any type of licensing or background check (i.e. applying for a job), your fingerprints will be part of the database that the police search for criminal purposes.

Does this concern you?

Is it alright for the police and FBI to lump your fingerprints in with criminals' fingerprints?

According to the article, the government quietly informed us in their February 2015 Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA). I guess we can say "quietly" because the media did not cover this.

Now your fingerprints will live forever in the FBI’s Next Generation Identification (NGI) database.

It is being reported that this will be the first time our FBI has allowed routine criminal searches of its civil fingerprint data.

You should know that employers and other certifying agencies have submitted prints to the FBI for decades, the FBI rarely retained these non-criminal prints and when they did they “were not readily accessible or searchable.”

This is another example of more data being collected by our government of innocent people.

Are you comfortable with this?

Something you should know: it is not just prospective police officers or childcare workers who have to submit to fingerprint background checks. The article reports that in the state of Texas, “you’ll need to give the government your prints if you want to be an engineer, doctor, realtor, stockbroker, attorney, or even an architect. The California Department of Justice says it submits 1.2 million sets of civil prints to the FBI annually. And, since 1953, all jobs with the federal government have required a fingerprint check—not just for jobs requiring a security clearance, but even for part-time food service workers, student interns, designers, customer service representatives, and maintenance workers.”

The FBI has stated that only people who are required by federal or state rules are going to be included in their database, at least for now.

My concern is someone being mistakenly identified and all of the expense and trouble that will bring to us innocent Americans.

Do you have the same concern as I do?

Let’s discuss this today on my show, The Live with Renk show, which airs Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to noon, to let me know your thoughts at (269) 441-9595.

Or please feel free to start a discussion and write your thoughts in the comment section.