La Ronde under fire for scanning visitors’ fingerprints

A recently instated fingerprint scanning system at Montreal’s La Ronde amusement park raises potential privacy issues for season pass holders. CBC reports that the amusement park has installed a system that scans season pass holders’ index fingers in order to admit them to the park. These “fingerpoint” scans can be used instead of the traditional photo identification card. However, Quebec’s privacy commissioner stated that the amusement park has not been cleared to operate a biometric database. In order to collect a biometric database, a company or organization must first make a request to the Commission d’accès à l’information du Québec. The Commission reviews what the applying company plans to do with the information, and how it will preserve, consult and destroy that data. La Ronde argues there is a crucial difference between fingerpoints and fingerprints, and that fingerpoints are not subject to privacy laws regarding biometric databases.

According to CTV, a La Ronde spokesperson says park visitors’ information will remain secure. But some critics fear that collecting this kind of personal data goes too far, and that the promise of data security cannot be guaranteed.