Much too much, much too young

July 31st, 2006

From Statewatch

A report from the EU Council Presidency at the end of June (EU doc no: 9403/1/06) proposes that for EU passports:

1. The “scanning of the facial image” should be:

“0 to 12 years of age.. storage in the chip [to be] on the basis of national legislation [and] from 12 years of age: Compulsory“. (emphasis in original).


2. The taking of finger-prints is a wholly different issue. Here the EU Council Presidency proposes that:

“Scanning of fingerprints up to 12 years of age.. is permissible if provided for by national legislation”

“From 12 years of age: compulsory” (emphasis in original)

And if any member states wants to set a lower limit, eg: 10, 8, 6 or 4 years, or 1 day, old they can do so and from 12 years old the compulsory taking of fingerprints from children.

The EU has absolutely no business in demanding anyones information be databased never mind children. At the very very most it should ensure a common format for any information that individual nations see fit to register. The EU is not a state and thanks to the rejection of the constitution it is still quite literally a non-entity in legal terms.

This was also reported in the Observer which has a typical half hearted quote from Liberty’s ex- Home Office employee, Shami Chakrabarti:

‘Secure passports make a lot more sense than ID cards,’ said Shami Chakrabarti, director of the human rights group Liberty. ‘But only as long as the information that is kept is no more than necessary and is not shared with other countries.’

NO. A secure passport system can be made operable without any centralised database whatsoever, no information about free individuals need be shared with anybody, even within ‘their own country’. For a secure system you need nothing more complicated than a passport containing a digital photograph encrypted with public/private key encryption so that the immigration control officer can verify you are the legitimate holder of your passport. Everything else is a waste of money, an imposition upon anonymity and an invitation to theft of personal information and individual rights.

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