By Steve Tawa
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The big video game retailer, GameStop, is now requiring its customers in Philadelphia, but not in the suburbs, to provide a fingerprint scan on certain transactions.
When GameStop buys used video games from customers, the chain says it is following a local law that allows the store to collect thumb prints, which go into a database to help law enforcement track down thieves who fence stolen goods.
City Solicitor Shelley Smith says, however, the city is not requiring GameStop to abide by the pawnbroker’s ordinance:
“What GameStop does doesn’t meet any of the elements of the definition in the code, so the pawnbreaker ordinance doesn’t apply to GameStop.”
Folks outside a GameStop in Center City tell KYW Newsradio they were not thrilled with the company policy for anyone selling used games to the store:
“I really don’t appreciate it. You fingerprinted me like I’m in a police district. No, I’m at a game store.”
“That is a little absurd, it’s just a video game.”
“I think it’s an overreach. It’s going too far.”
“I know that it only happens to people who go to jail, they get fingerprinted.”
“When I went, I got my finger scanned when he broke it out and said ‘I need your fingerprint,’ I said, ‘for what’?'”
The Philadelphia Police Department says the company is being proactive by storing fingerprints in a secure database – LeadsOnline – which is the nation’s largest online investigation system.
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