The European Commission agreed to a plan to collect fingerprints and photographs from foreigners entering the EU, part of an effort to fortify the bloc's borders. The plan, which was presented on Wednesday, Feb. 13, could see EU funds used to develop surveillance equipment like cameras, sensors and pilot-less drones. Civil libertarians argue that the controversial measures infringe on people's privacy and won't fight crime. But proponents of the plan called the proposals "further building blocks in the often stated aim of the European Union to build a space of free and secure travel through collective responsibility and solidarity."Yesterday’s Washington Post also had an interesting article on the topic:
If approved by the European Parliament, the measure would mean that precisely identifying information on tens of millions of citizens will be added in coming years to databases that could be shared by friendly governments around the world.
The United States already requires that foreigners be fingerprinted and photographed before they enter the country. So does Japan... 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.