Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Ridge Seeks Fingerprints on Passports

CNN and the Associated Press are reporting that outgoing Homeland Security Secretary is calling for the fingerprinting of all US passport holders. He says that they can "offer assurances" that the use of the fingerprints would be limited. To what? He doesn't say.

Yahoo! News - Ridge Seeks Fingerprints on Passports:

"WASHINGTON - The United States should put the fingerprints of its citizens on passports to enhance global security, outgoing Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said Wednesday in a recommendation risking a privacy fight at home.

Ridge said passports could ideally include biometric finger scans - for all 10 fingers - to help customs officials quickly and accurately identify U.S. travelers. He offered no details on how the plan might deal with privacy concerns or guard against international identity theft.

'If we're going to ask the rest of the world to put fingerprints on their passports, we ought to put our fingerprints on our passports,' Ridge said in a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies before heading overseas to talk about security ties with the European Union (news - web sites).

'Now, culturally, historically, there are a lot of reasons that some countries are averse or very reluctant to give people finger scans,' Ridge said. He said that by offering assurances that use would be limited and benefits would be significant, 'we could get the world to move more quickly toward a common international standard.' ..."

Also on CNN: Ridge presses for fingerprints on passports - Jan 12, 2005

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