The Guardian is today reporting plans to equip police with mobile fingerprint scanners. While it is a sensible use of technology to save the police from arresting suspects simply in order to take their fingerprints at the station, suppliers are already salivating at the potential for feature creep — for example, including cameras linked to a national facial recognition database.
It is almost almost inevitable that once fingerprinting becomes much faster and cheaper, it will be used much more widely. How happy would you feel at being randomly stopped in the street and fingerprinted by a police officer "just in case"? How often is this likely to happen in the streets of Brixton and Hackney, compared to say Oxford?