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Fingerprint Database Silently Added for Mortgage Industry

Privacy advocates, who usually find themselves opposing President Bush, are urging him to veto a housing bailout bill because it would create a national fingerprint registry for mortgage industry workers.

The fingerprint part of the bill, added by the Senate, is hidden in the lengthy bill, which appears to be about bailing out troubled homeowners.

The databased would encompass mortgage lenders, loan originators, and real estate agents. The registry, which was subject to little debate or public airing, is intended to create a national framework of consumer protection. The legislation would use the fingerprints when granting licenses from a newly created "Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry." Do you think fingerprints and background checks solve the crisis brought on by predatory lending and risky borrowing?

Does it bother you that Congress is considering a measure which would give the government much more information and individuals less privacy without much debate? Even if there are merits to the fingerprint database, how can impacted individuals weigh in on it? Should they be able to? Do you prefer a government that has less of your information, or more?


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