'A Pointless Invasion of Privacy' UCT Professor Outraged at Having to Be Fingerprinted
BYLINE: LUVUYO MJEKULA
A SECURITY system requiring people visiting The Terraces building in Bree Street to have their fingerprints and photograph taken has been slammed as "pointless and an invasion of people's privacy".
An outraged University of Cape Town professor, Mike Morris, lodged a complaint with the owners of the building shortly after he was denied access last week.
Morris refused to have his fingerprints and photograph taken when he went to the building to drop off a parcel.
Describing the security system as an "absolute invasion of people's privacy", he also questioned its legality. "I was outraged and refused point blank to have my fingerprints taken, and they denied me access," he said.
An argument broke out between him and the heads of security, who apparently told him they were enforcing the rules of the building, which was on private property.
But Morris said that did not justify invasion of privacy. Unless the building's system was linked to a database where visitors' fingerprints could be compared with those of undesirables, there was no point other than to harass people. "It is unacceptable," he said.
Gregg Huntingford, spokes-man for Growthpoint Properties, which owns the building, said Morris's complaints would be investigated.
"His concerns are quite clear and we take them very seriously. …