Readers Respond to EU Plan to Fingerprint Foreigners | All of Deutsche Welle′s social media channels at a glance | DW | 16.02.2008
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Readers Respond to EU Plan to Fingerprint Foreigners

The European Commission this week proposed collecting fingerprints from foreigners entering the EU. Readers disagreed on whether the plan is a necessary border protection measure or an invasion of privacy.

Finger getting scanned

Place your finger here, please.

The following comments reflect the views of DW-WORLD.DE readers. Not all reader comments have been published. DW-WORLD.DE reserves the right to edit for length and appropriateness of content.

I think screening incoming visitors passing through as tourists or passengers in transit in Germany or any international country where there's threat of terrorism can help facilitate apprehending serious offenders -- if it is not abused. These are dangerous days! A nation cannot be too careful when country's security is at stake. -- Bernard Leong, Australia

I view much of the activities of the EU as actions taken to block US commercial penetration of their markets. The perpetual court actions against Microsoft are the worst example. This latest fingerprinting requirement may be in response to the US increasing our security to prevent terrorist from the EU from again coming to bring us more horror. -- Larry Nelson, US

It is my opinion that it is both proper and necessary to the security of the state to be able to identify foreigners within it province. Hence the EU should fingerprint all entering foreign visitors. -- Curt Lamberger, US

I have dual German/Canadian citizenship, so I wouldn't be affected. However, like with so many other measures to "secure our freedom and fight crime," this is just another measure where Europe is probably submitting to pressure from the US. Governments have an insatiable appetite for information that is really none of their business and citizens are expected to forfeit their constitutional rights on the altar of "security." What happened to innocent until proven guilty? George Orwell was only wrong by about 25 years when he named his book 1984. -- Michael Beihse, Canada

This is just another of the many moves to increase the power and control of the state at the cost of the citizen. To copy the American system is only a disgrace to the European mentality and dignity. The argument of catching so called "over-stayers" is clear hypocrisy. Anyone who overstays and then leaves will be seen just by checking the passport itself or the computer! Fingerprinting is only a way to criminalize foreigners, a system that Europeans should avoid instead of embrace. -- Masterson, Germany

I support the EU proposals as it is inevitable with the enlargement of the EU. The US has demanded this and all types of passenger data from previously visa exempt countries so they should be subject to identical controls and requirements by the EU. How was it that we were all able to exist before without silly rules and requirements? I suppose this is the modern trend the US has been pushing since 9/11 . -- Jon F. Klaus, France

I heartily agree with the privacy advocates that all these security measures will not stop crime or illegal immigrants but are mainly a burden and a threat to privacy and civil rights of the average law abiding citizen and legal immigrant. To have your fingerprints taken reminds me of being treated like a criminal. Even just 10or 15 years ago people would have screamed murder if governments would have hinted at such measures. What will be the next step: RFID tagging or chip implants to track us down? -- Elisabeth Merillet, Switzerland

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