EC considering fingerprinting travelers
Feb 12,2008 00:00 by UPI

BRUSSELS - The European Commission is expected to propose that all foreign travelers entering and leaving Europe be fingerprinted.

If the European Parliament approves the measure it would mean identifying information on millions of people will be added during the coming years to databases that could be shared with friendly governments, The Washington Post reported Tuesday. The proposal, of which the Post obtained a copy, would call for travelers being fingerprinted and some having their photographs stored in a Europe-wide database.

The United States and Japan already require foreign travelers be fingerprinted and photographed before entering their countries.

The plan, which could be approved Wednesday, is part of a growing, international trend of collecting and sharing data electronically to identify and track people for matters of national security and immigration control, the Post reported.

"It's the only way to be really sure about identifying people," a European Commission official familiar with the plan told the Post. "With biometric data, it's much easier to track people and know who has come in and who has gone out, including possible terrorists."

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