I remember when I was young, there was a drive at various establishments (like Blockbuster) to let the police create a profile of children to purportedly aid the police in finding them should they ever turn up missing. When I was grew older, I realized that this was merely a scheme to create a fingerprint database of much of America's (or at least San Diego's) youth.
The profile consisted of the police fingerprinting each child, and videotaping them while they answered some questions about their hobbies, personality, etc. Of course my mother fell for it and made me run through the whole rigamarole.
Now let's assume I got lost somehow and was missing. What do the police have to work with? My fingerprints and a video of me answering some questions. Are they going to:
- Scour the city for my fingerprints?
- Make all the officers memorize my face so they could have a hope of picking me out of the hundreds of thousands of other children?
- Go all around the city asking people if they'd seen any kids with my personality?
- Make use of this tape in any other way to find me?
I'm convinced that the answers are no, no, no, and no. They might use the fingerprints to identify me if I was found dead, but I can't see them going through all this trouble for that. If a child old enough to be profiled like I was did happen to be found alive, the child would have been old enough to know it's full name and home city, and probably it's home phone number or address, too (I knew all four by that age). So I don't see problems returning found children to their parents having been the impetus behind this whole effort.
So why did they do it? To get fingerprints and personality profiles of many or most upcoming adults, I believe. What else could it have been?