Gail Jozitis isn’t the first person to walk out of a Bank of America with an empty wallet, incensed over the bank’s fingerprinting policy. As is the case with all customers who don’t have an account with the bank, when she tried earlier this month to cash a check drawn on a Bank of America account, Jozitis was told she would have to provide a thumbprint in order to get the money.
Until now, angry customers such as Jozitis could only guess what Bank of America does with all of the fingerprints it collects.
But last week, after years of publicly denying the practice, Bank of America admitted to The Telegraph that it stores fingerprints in a database. However, it wouldn’t reveal where the prints are stored, how long they’re stored or who has access to them.
Bank of America, along with several other banks around the country, has used the “Thumbprint Signature” program for 10 years. It was originally developed by the Texas Bankers Association to fight check fraud and is now supported by bankers’ groups across the country.
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