Got a Toeprint?

By | Category: Travel rumblings

We’ve known for some time that security systems will toughen. Now we have helpful guidance from the European Union on what will be expected.

I am grateful to the Datanomy Googlegroup and Jeremy Phillips in particular for guidance on how the EU sees the subject of fingerprints.

Ready and sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin.

The Visa information system must have the fingerprint images of ten fingers. If a finger or fingers is missing, these shall be identified and the remaining fingers, if any, shall be used. As Phillips notes, if there aren’t any fingers what are you suppose to use? I suggest toes, ear lobes or some other unique identifier. Floor cameras can be installed to read our toe prints.

Biometric verifications, the EU say, shall look at four flat fingers from either the right or left hands. Now if you haven’t got four on each hand can you use two from each? Can you use two from each anyway?   Jeremy, a specialist data protection and privacy lawyer I imagine, is of the view that, because of the wording, you can use fingers from both hands if you wish. Try telling that to an immigration officer and see where you get.

But no, further on the EU says you must start with the right hand and fingers should be from the same hand!

But member states may decide to use two fingerprints instead of four. And I though the EU was to harmonise things not give options. Shouldn’t all states do the same? Silly me. They don’t do it with belts or shoes so why should they adopt the same procedure for fingerprints?

Ever thorough, the EU then says that missing or bandaged fingers shall always be identified as specified in some documents that I won’t bore you with. How can you identify a missing finger? That it’s just not there? Can I bandage all my fingers and protect my privacy and still get entry? And what happens if you have five fingers like Queen Anne Boleyn? See the document isn’t so thorough after all. They haven’t considered that!

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