EU seeks to make fingerprints mandatory for ID cards

The European Union wants to make data like fingerprints mandatory for ID cards in member countries as part of new measures it says will help fight crime and prevent extremist attacks.

The EU's executive arm, the European Commission, proposed Tuesday putting fingerprints and facial images on the electronic chips in ID and certain residency cards.

The EU border agency says most forged IDs are replicas of documents made in France, Italy and Spain.

The European Commission believes that weak security features create "a potential security gap that can be exploited by criminals and terrorists who seek access to" Europe's passport-free travel area.

The measure, which would be phased in over five years, still has to be approved by member countries.