Privacy rights advocates slam plans to fingerprint, register visitors to EU

Fosters

02/12/08

Rights advocates called on European Union officials to reconsider proposals to be released Wednesday that foresee fingerprinting and electronically recording all foreigners who visit the EU.Franco Frattini, the EU’s justice and interior affairs commissioner is scheduled to present plans for an overhaul of security at the union’s borders that would replicate many U.S. border checks.

Some civil rights groups called Tuesday for the European Union to scrap similar ideas, saying they would do little to fight crime or terrorism.”You dehumanize foreigners and you collect their personal and sensitive information with no clear personal gains whatsoever,” said Gus Hosein, from Privacy International. He likened the EU plans to building a “fortress Europe” to keep foreigners out.

Hosein said he expected complaints from many visitors if EU governments adopt a U.S.-style fingerprinting system. In the United States, the program has not affected U.S. citizens, who do not have to have their fingers scanned when leaving or entering the country...

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Informant: Thomas L. Knapp



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