Chris Jones

Journalist, researcher, editor and occasional translator based in London.

Biometrics in identity cards: the Member States want to fingerprint children

"Proposals to make fingerprinting of all identity card holders in the EU obligatory were published by the European Commission in April as part of a proposal on "strengthening the security of identity cards and residence documents". Early discussions in the Council foresee not only maintaining the mandatory fingerprinting requirement, but making it possible to extend it to children."

Biometrics in identity cards: the Member States want to fingerprint children (Statewatch, 26 August 2018)

This article was a follow-up piece to an analysis I wrote for Statewatch following the publication of the European Commission's proposals. The EU institutions are keen on fingerprinting pretty much everyone they can from the age of six and up, whether citizens of the EU or not. This proposal is particularly galling in that there has been no attempt to justify the fingerprinting proposals beyond stating that they will be beneficial for "security". This gets nowhere near the standard required to justify what is a serious intrusion on the fundamental right to privacy.

It's amazing how quickly (in historical terms, at least) fingerprinting has gone from being a technology targeted at criminals and 'deviants' to the population at large, and how invoking the term "security" is enough to convince people that a measure is necessary. It's also unfortunate that, despite some honourable exceptions in the press (see here and here) and amongst MEPs currently debating the proposal, there seems to be very little wider interest in the issue.

Photo: sagamionio, CC BY 2.0.

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