Thanks for the information.
The answer to your question is NO. You don't have to submit a thumb print......BUT, if you don't submit your print, you WON'T be allowed to renew your license.
The law provides that driving is a privilege. It is not a right. Therefore, a license may be issued and it may be taken away. Requirements may be placed on a person's ability to obtain and maintain a driver's license.
Not all states require a thumb print to renew/obtain a license. However, because a drivers license is a primary form of identification in California, the argument is that providing a thumb print guards against identity theft, fraud and helps prevent consumer related crime. However, unlike a road test, eye test, etc. a thumb print has nothing to do with your driving ability.
I understand your privacy concerns. Unlike other forms of identification, such as a driver's license number, a thumb print, cannot be changed in the event of a data breach, potentially resulting in lasting problems for victims.
However, again, because a drivers license is a privilege and not a right, the state can continue to require a thumb print.
I hope you find this information useful and that you PRESS THE GREEN ACCEPT BUTTON so that I can get credit for answering the question. Thank you.