Mandatory fingerprinting of European children

September 15, 2006 at 9:28 am 1 comment

The European Union is working on a new rule that would require all children in the EU to be fingerprinted and entered into an international database. Currently, the proposed regulations would require all children age 12 and up to be fingerprinted, but some committee members are lobbying for an even younger age limit, possibly as young as six. The European Commission notes that “Scientific tests have confirmed that the paillary ridges on the fingers are not sufficiently developed to allow biometric capture and analysis until the age of six.”

Ben Hayes, spokesman for the civil liberties group Statewatch said “We are going from fingerprinting criminals to universal fingerprinting without any real debate. In the long term everyone’s fingerprints will be stored on a central database. You have to ask what will be the costs to a person’s privacy.” Statewatch also accused the EU Governments of making decisions based only on “technological possibilities – not on the moral and political questions of whether it is right or desirable.”

On the one hand, so long as you do nothing wrong, what difference does it make who has your information on file? On the other hand, however, the potential for misuse is huge. What do you think? Would you be concerned if your kids had to be fingerprinted and put into an international database? Or do you, like I do, see this as a positive move forwards in authentication?

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Entry filed under: Authentication, Legal & regulatory topics, Legislation, Privacy, Security.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. truus  |  September 15, 2006 at 6:04 pm

    Having fingerprints in an international database makes it hard to travel to a deserted island without everyone knowing where you are. I see a future of gloves and finger mutilation for those who want to be private. I see a future of these fingerprints taking a step further into Orwellian realities, one step at a time to modes I can’t even imagine. I see our keys being our fingers for work buildings, for DMV, for libraries, museums, city hall and more if we accept this route.

    So the government owns that data, will they also own the commerce databases where we use our fingerprints as credit cards and connections to our personal bank accounts? Where else will it go?

    Reply

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