Thumbing A Ride…

The DailyBreeze tells us about how Lorna Herf discovered South Bay BMW in Torrance’s sales policy of “No fingerprint, no car.” The dealership claims that this is an effort to prevent identity theft, though how this would help the customer is unclear. Additionally, this effort is being actively supported by the sheriff’s office. I think Ms Herf said it best:

They’re going about this with the best of intentions, but in the wrong way. A private dealer shouldn’t take the law into their own hands.

Things like this and the nonsense at Disney World add no discernible security or protections and serve only to get people used to having their privacy further invaded.
As always, all non-trivial privacy fears come true.

7 thoughts on “Thumbing A Ride…

  1. Actually, the purpose of the Disney fingerprinting is to prevent people buying multi-day tickets (which offer a significant progressive discount for longer tickets), then re-selling the remaining days on the ticket that they haven’t used yet.
    There’s an entire grey market for half-used tickets around Disneyworld that this was intended to kill that market and thus improve margins at the park.

  2. The car dealer isn’t taking the law into their own hands, they’re simply experimenting with a means to reduce car theft. (They called it “identity theft” because that’s the current buzzword, but it is really car theft, using someone else’s credit rating to drive off the forecourt.)
    Now, we might have a legitimate concern that the car dealer won’t look after the PII, including the fingerprint. Or we might have a concern that the government are pushing the fingerprinting of the (US) people through yet another backdoor process.
    But none of the other concerns seem to stand. What is wrong with asking for a fingerprint if one is about to extend $40k of credit to someone who walked in 2 hours ago? These are both adult consenting parties, and presumably if she paid cash/direct bank transfer and waited a couple of days for the car, then there wouldn’t be a problem. Also note that a car rental agency tried it and then stopped it — the free market in action.

  3. She should go along and say “Have you heard about the Herf gun I invented?”.

  4. > The fingerprint collecting policy applies regardless of whether you pay cash in dollar bills, cashier’s check, financing or lease.

  5. The South Bay BMW dealership is run like a combination jewelry store and resort spa. Considering the clientèle who like being spoiled in such a way (rather than going to a more performance oriented BMW dealer) the suggestions of the staff that such measures are being done ‘for their protection’ would be quite persuasive.

  6. Having just returned from Disney. Whatever protections the fingerprint readers are supposed to provide for ticketholders, don’t work.
    I scanned different fingers each time through turnstiles. I scanned my palm. I scanned my fingernails. Every single time it was passed as valid. I swapped tickets with my wife and still passed.
    what a great way to fingerprint your populace with a smiling face!

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