« Cost Effective Research Tips & Other Guides from Lexis & Westlaw | Main | WSLL At Your Service June Issue »

IL Public Library To Scan Fingerprints as Proof of Identity for Computer Use

A Chicago Tribune article reports that patrons of the Naperville Public Library System will soon be asked for a fingerprint scan before using a library computer. Users may, however, choose to have a library staff member log them on. Apparently, it is the second library system in the U.S. to employ such a system.

From the article:

Library officials say the added security is necessary to ensure people who are using the computers are who they say they are. Officials promise to protect the confidentiality of the fingerprint records.

But with Congress contemplating an expansion of the USA Patriot Act, which gives federal authorities access to confidential library records, and cameras watching the streets some Chicagoans drive or the sidewalks they stroll, privacy advocates are concerned about yet another erosion of personal liberty."We take people's fingerprints because we think they might be guilty of something, not because they want to use the library," said Ed Yohnka, spokesman for the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois.