Claiming that the use of biometrics (specifically a time-keeping system that uses finger measurements to track worker’s hours) is the “mark of the beast,” several employees of the City of Wilmington, NC have filed religious protests against their employer. “As my divine…right, I request that you, my employer, accommodate my sincerely held religious belief by not requiring me to submit to the use of a thumbprint, DNA or any other biological identification device,” one employee wrote. These complaints are derived from the idea that, to some, biometrics – such as fingerprinting, retinal scans and hand measures – represent the “mark of the beast” as predicted in Revelation in the New Testament. According to David Alan Carmichael, who established the American Christian Liberty Society, the Book of Revelation depicts a society where people are forced to be marked by the name or number of the beast on their right hand or forehead which some liken to hand and eye scans. “Those are stops on a slippery slope to imbedded computer identification chips, the ultimate mark,” he said. Kronos, Inc. has implemented the system for the city of Wilmington at an estimated cost of $350,000. The new technology will be more accurate and efficient, and will eliminate the chance of an employee punching an absent friend’s timecard. Only about 12 of the city of Wilmington’s 1,200 or so workers appealed being measured for the Kronos system, Al McKenzie, the city’s director of human relations, said.
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