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Europe

Fingerprints Required in New EU Passports

EU citizens will be obliged to have their fingerprints in their passports in the future.

EU member states agreed at a meeting on Tuesday that a second biometric identifier, fingerprints, must be included in all new passports and other travel documents. This follows a decision in June where member states decided that EU passports must include facial images. The biometric data gathered will be stored on a chip embedded in the new passports. Personal details and the biometric data will be held on national databases and on a EU-wide database of European Register for issued passports - the latter will be on the Schengen Information System (SIS II) and be accessible by law enforcement agencies, according to Statewatch. While fingerprints will be obligatory in new passports 3 years after the technical specifications are in place, facial images will be required 18 months after adoption of the regulation.(EUobserver.com)

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