Report: Europe May Begin Fingerprinting Foreign Travelers

The European Commission is set to propose tomorrow that all foreign travelers entering and exiting Europe, including American citizens, should be fingerprinted, the Washington Post reported Tuesday.

If approved by the European Parliament, the proposal 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 paper reported.

The U.S. already requires foreigners be fingerprinted and photographed before they enter the country. Now top European security officials want to follow suit, with travelers being fingerprinted and some also having their facial images stored in a Europe-wide database, according to a copy of the proposal obtained by The Washington Post.

The plan is part of a growing trend to collect and share data to identify and track people to combat illegal migration, terrorism and organized crime.

"It's the only way to be really sure about identifying people," a European Commission official familiar with the fingerprinting plan told the newspaper.

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