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Apr 13,2007
Germany passport info debated
by UPI

BERLIN - German politicians are debating whether police should be allowed access to files of digital passport photographs and fingerprints.

A law has been drafted that would open photo files, Deutsche Welle reported.

In November, digitized fingerprints are to be added to the information stored in computer chips embedded on passports. The question of whether police can use those files is even more controversial.

The draft legislation reportedly includes language that would require deletion of fingerprint information from central files once a passport has been issued.

The Christian Democratic Party argues for saving fingerprints in the name of national security. The Social Democratic Party says that opens the door to violations of civil liberties.

The issue is a sensitive one, given Germany's record under the Nazis and the tracking of citizens by Stasi -- the secret police in the former East Germany.

Copyright ©  2007, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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