Should Safety Checks for Volunteers Include Fingerprints?
A new fingerprint search process required for some people to volunteer (or have a paid job) with many Canadian charities has raised privacy concerns with some groups, while also creating months-long screening backlogs and highlighting the limits of the old process.
Volunteers who wish to work with the "vulnerable sector" have long had to pass a Vulnerable Sector Verification screening. However, this summer the RCMP announced a new 2-stage process.
First, basic personal information (name, date of birth, and such) goes through the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) database. The new part is step two: If the applicant's gender and date of birth match any sex offender in that system, the volunteer must provide fingerprints. This lets screeners compare.....
.......Would you give police your fingerprints for this reason? Does this raise any concerns? Let the PEN know what you think--send us your thoughts!
Adrian Larose is a writer living in Ottawa.