Plan for fingerprint database on millions of UK children
MILLIONS of children in the UK may be forced to have their fingerprints stored on a database which could be shared with other countries, it emerged yesterday.
A committee of European Commission bureaucrats is drawing up proposals that will mean children, possibly as young as six, will have to attend a fingerprinting centre to obtain an EU passport by June 2009.
The use of fingerprints and other biometric data is designed to prevent passport fraud and allow European member states to meet US entry visa requirements.
But civil liberties group Statewatch has accused Europe's governors of failing to consider the moral and political implications of such a move. A spokesman 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 cost to a person's privacy."
The group raised concerns the proposals would allow EU states to fingerprint children "from day one of their life as soon as it is technologically possible."
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