The Nashua Telegraph editors have published an editorial opposing the use of the Thumbprint Signature Program for bank security. They write, in part:
There is no reason to doubt Bank of America’s claim that the fingerprints are kept on check images stored only on the bank’s computers, and that those images are never provided to third parties except in the case of a fraud investigation.
But it’s not sufficient for the banking industry to make the case that fingerprinting poses no privacy threat. The default assumption should be that biometrics are not collected absent some overriding public interest.
Banks have ample procedures in place to protect against check fraud and have not made a convincing case that fingerprinting significantly contributes to the prevention of fraud or identity theft.
If the practice was so effective, it would be in widespread use. But it is not, probably because most banks appreciate the negative effect it has on consumer relations.
Read more in The Nashua Telegraph.