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Accessing the FBI’s biometric database has long been a critical step in catching and prosecuting criminals. People who commit serious crimes tend to do so many times throughout their lives, so it makes sense that law enforcement agencies would be able to record their fingerprints when they’re caught, and save them for future reference. In the near future however, your fingerprints may also find their way into the FBI’s database, regardless of your criminal history.

Originally, the FBI rarely held on to fingerprints that weren’t related to a crime (at least that we know of) and even when they did keep them, they weren’t readily accessible. But now the FBI has merged their criminal database with the civil database. This means that anytime your prints are submitted to the FBI for any reason, they are lumped together with those belonging to criminals. And this doesn’t just apply to high-profile jobs that require a security clearance, this includes just about any job with the federal government. It also applies to many private fields that require a license (this could include security guards, lawyers, contractors, nurses, etc). California alone submits 1.2 million sets of fingerprints to the feds every year.

Not only does this increase the chances of innocent people getting caught up in criminal cases, it’s an egregious violation of our rights. By collecting this information into a criminal database, they’re essentially treating ordinary citizens like criminals before they’re ever charged with a crime.

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Joshua Krause is a reporter, writer and researcher at The Daily Sheeple. He was born and raised in the Bay Area and is a freelance writer and author. You can follow Joshua’s reports at Facebook or on his personalTwitter. Joshua’s website is Strange Danger.