Europe Moves to Fingerprint Travelers

Privacy advocates fret, but US, Japan already have similar policies
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 12, 2008 1:25 PM CST
A United Airlines jetliner takes off from Denver International Airport in Denver in this Sept. 27, 2007 file photo. Flight security is becoming a major issue between Europe and the United States. (AP...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Just as Washington is pushing Europe to increase security, the European Parliament is considering fingerprinting every international traveler who enters or leaves the continent, the Washington Post reports. “It’s the only way to be really sure about identifying people,” an official said. The US backs the measure, which mirrors an American program, but some observers worry about privacy.

Plans around the world are adding millions of fingerprints to government databases, with the long-term goal of sharing info. “It does seem to be a steamroller,” said a Dutch MP. “The whole question is: What for? Does this actually make the world a safer place?” One privacy advocate agreed, accusing the EU of “blindly following” the US.