In a measure aimed at curbing food smuggling as well as food shortages currently plaguing Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has proposed having shoppers give fingerprints to make sure they aren't hoarding items.
As NPR pointed out, Venezuelan officials say that maintaining supplies of "basics such as cooking oil and flour have been a problem for more than a year now."
The reason? Well, according to the BBC, Venezuela's got more than a little bit of a smuggling problem:
Up to 40% of the goods which Venezuela subsidises for its domestic market are smuggled to Colombia, where they are sold at much higher prices, the authorities say.
The collection of fingerprints and data would ostensibly ensure that not too many items are being taken by one person. Some critics were quick to label the move as food rationing and pointed the finger at the country's socialist leanings:
Venezuela's socialist government is now rationing food after prices controls proved to be a miserable failure http://t.co/0qPXuoCI4K— Taylor Davidson (@yipeedog) August 22, 2014
Food shortages and rising inflation were the catalysts for months of violent protests across Venezuela earlier this year. With crime on the rise as well, the breach of privacy linked to the collection of fingerprints and shopping habits seems like a small transgression to add to Venezuela's woes.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.