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    Calgary Herald: Shelter scans raise privacy concerns

    The Calgary Herald reports on handprint scans at a local homeless shelter. In the US, anti-domestic violence and homeless advocate organizations are campaigning against the creation of databases that would identify individuals and allow them to be tracked.

    The head of Calgary’s Drop-In Centre says he is astounded by the controversy surrounding the shelter’s use of a handprint-based security system, with the latest salvo coming from the province’s privacy commissioner on Friday.

    “People . . . have no idea what we’re going through here,”said the centre’s executive director Dermot Baldwin, adding he now has three staff off work because of beatings. […]

    The comments came after Alberta’s privacy commissioner said he’s concerned about a new security system the Drop-In Centre is testing, which includes the scanning of clients’ handprints to confirm their identification.

    Frank Work said Friday the home-less shelter’s system of scanning and collecting handprints will likely lead to the creation of a database that will store that information.

    “I’d like to know how long information will be retained, how it will be properly secured and whether or not the information will be disclosed to other organizations or the police and in what circumstances,” Work said in a statement.

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