Fingerprinting and Background Check: Ethically Unacceptable?

1. Introduction

Nowadays the problem of privacy invasion is widely discussed. The rapid development of technology gives people more opportunities to control and violate other people’s private life. One of the most common things that are used to invade people’s privacy is fingerprinting and background check.

Fingerprinting is the process of taking an imprint of someone’s fingerprints. Usually, it is done by law enforcement officers in order to identify criminals. However, nowadays fingerprinting is not only used by police but also by employers, schools, and other organizations.

Background check is a procedure of collecting information about someone’s past. It includes checking criminal records, employment history, education, and other personal data. Like fingerprinting, background checks are often required by employers, schools, and other organizations.

Though both fingerprinting and background check can be useful in some cases, they often violate people’s right to privacy. In this paper, I will discuss both the pros and cons of fingerprinting and background check in order to come to a conclusion whether they are ethically acceptable or not.

2. The pros of fingerprinting and background check

There are several arguments in favor of fingerprinting and background check. First of all, these procedures help to control society and establish justice.

Fingerprinting helps to identify criminals and bring them to justice. For example, if someone robs a bank, the police can take their fingerprints at the crime scene and then use them to find out who this person is. Without fingerprinting, it would be much more difficult to catch criminals and bring them to justice.

Background check can also help to control society and establish justice. For example, if an employer wants to hire a new employee, they can do a background check on this person to see if they have any criminal record or if they were ever fired from their previous job for misconduct. This way the employer can be sure that they are hiring a responsible and reliable person.

Another argument in favor of fingerprinting and background check is that these procedures can help to prevent crime. If criminals know that their fingerprints will be taken at the crime scene, they will be less likely to commit a crime in the first place. And if employers do background checks on their employees, they will be less likely to hire criminals in the first place.

3. The cons of fingerprinting and background check

There are also several arguments against fingerprinting and background check. First of all, these procedures often violate people’s right to privacy.

When law enforcement officers take someone’s fingerprints, they are essentially taking a copy of their DNA without their consent. This means that the police can store this information in their database and use it for any purpose they see fit, without the person’s knowledge or consent.

Background checks are also intrusive because they involve collecting information about someone’s past without their consent. This information can include sensitive data such as criminal records or financial history. And once this information is collected, it can be used against the person in question even if they have never been convicted of a crime or been through any financial difficulties.

Another argument against fingerprinting and background check is that these procedures are often inaccurate. Fingerprints can be easily smudged or damaged, making them difficult to match with a specific person. And background checks can often turn up false positives, which can lead to innocent people being wrongly accused of crimes they didn’t commit.

4. The conclusion

After considering both the pros and cons of fingerprinting and background check, I believe that these procedures are ethically unacceptable. These procedures often violate people’s right to privacy and they are often inaccurate. Furthermore, I believe that there are other ways to control society and establish justice that don’t involve violating people’s privacy, such as surveillance cameras or DNA databases.
Reference list:

1. Fingerprinting. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.aclu.org/other/fingerprinting
2. Background Checks: What Employers Need to Know. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.eeoc.gov/employers/upload/ background_checks_employers_need_to_know.pdf

FAQ

The pros of fingerprinting and background checks are that they can help to prevent crime by identifying individuals who have a criminal history. The cons are that these policies can invade an individual's privacy.

Fingerprinting works by taking an impression of an individual's fingerprints, which are then stored in a database. Background checks involve running an individual's name through databases to see if there is any criminal history associated with it.

Some alternatives to fingerprinting and background checks include using facial recognition technology or iris scanning. However, these methods are not as accurate as fingerprinting and may still invade an individual's privacy.

Fingerprinting and background checks are generally considered to be effective in preventing crime, although there is no guarantee that they will always be successful in stopping all crime from occurring.

The benefits of fingerprinting and background checks usually outweigh the potential invasion of privacy, as these policies can help to keep the public safe from individuals with a criminal history.

Some concerns that have been raised about fingerprints and background check policies include the possibility of false positives (when someone is incorrectly identified as having a criminal history) and the potential for abuse (if these policies are used to target certain groups of people).

There is no easy answer when it comes to balancing privacy concerns with public safety needs, but one way to try to achieve this balance is by ensuring that fingerprinting and background check policies are only used when necessary and not abused