EU May Begin Fingerprinting Travelers to Europe

Travel Blog  •  Michael Yessis  •  02.12.08 | 9:05 AM ET

imageTomorrow the European Commission will propose fingerprinting all travelers to Europe, according to the Washington Post. The Post also reports that the EU wants to take facial scans of some travelers.

Neither practice will go into effect without the approval of the European Union parliament. If the proposal is ratified, implementation wouldn’t begin for about a year.

From the Post:

The plan is part of a vast and growing trend on both sides of the Atlantic to collect and share data electronically to identify and track people in the name of national security and immigration control. U.S. government computers now have access to data on financial transactions; air travel details such as name, itinerary and credit card numbers; and the names of those sending and receiving express-mail packages—even a description of the contents.

Japan also tracks international travelers through fingerprints and photos.

Related on World Hum:
* Want a Stress-Free Vacation? ‘Don’t go to the USA.’
* TSA Deploys ‘Behavior Detection Officers’ at U.S. Airports

Photo by buildscharacter, via Flickr (Creative Commons)

1 Comment for EU May Begin Fingerprinting Travelers to Europe

John M. Edwards 02.12.08 | 5:52 PM ET

Hi Michael:

Even though at first glance “fingerprinting” travelers sounds like something out of a science fiction writer’s worst nightmare, it is indeed true that every single human individual on the planet has a unique Expressionist pattern implanted on his or her fingertips.

We might even be able to scan ourselves through the checkout line like duty-free groceries.

Some of us dream of a passport-free society, wherein everyone has more than fifteen minutes of fame. Plus, we wouldn’t have to worry about someone nicking our travel wallets and posing as us in a flophouse on the Shetlands.

With one check of the magic finger, and a backup call to mission control, we’re off on our topflight encounter into the unknown.

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