Your Fingerprints Are Literally All Over This Housing Bill


reason contributor John Berlau looks at the fine print of a Senate housing bill and finds a mess of whorls that might just play havoc with your right to anonymity:

…a measure creating a federal fingerprint registry totally unrelated to national security passed a U.S. Senate committee almost without notice. The legislation would require thousands of individuals working even tangentially in the mortgage and real estate industries—and not suspected of anything—to send their prints to the feds. The database and fingerprint mandates were tucked into housing and foreclosure assistance bills that on Tuesday passed the Senate Banking Committee by a vote of 19-2.

The measure the committee passed states that "an indvidual may not engage in the business of a loan originator without first … obtaining a unique identifier." To obtain this "identifier," an individual is requiredto "furnish" to the newly created Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry "information concerning the applicant's identity, including fingerprints for submission" to the FBI and other government agencies.

More here.

True confession: The first merit badge I ever earned in the Boy Scouts on the long path to the rank of Eagle, was Fingerprinting.