EU: Biometric border checks: Commission wants two systems to track travellers entering the EU

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Article by Judith Crosbie (European Voice, link) "The European Commission will propose in February two new systems for tracking and monitoring people entering the EU. One system will require airline passengers to register online before flying to Europe while the other system will use biometrics to track people entering and leaving the Union through air, land and sea borders."

Last November the Commission put forward a proposal for a EU-PNR scheme whereby airlines compile and pass over details of passengers to national security agencies to check against watch-lists (See Statewatch's Observatory: EU surveillance of passengers (PNR)) It is now proposed that in addition all passengers wanting to fly into the EU (both visitors and citizens) will have to get permission to travel. The story above also says that the Commission is intending to propose a third measure to take biometrics (fingerprints) of everyone entering and leaving the EU by air, land and sea.

Tony Bunyan, Statewatch editor, comments:

"Let us be clear about the effect of these three proposals. Everyone - citizens and visitors - travelling in and out of the EU is going placed under surveillance, have to get permission to enter and checked against national watch-lists whose scope is unknown, with data transferred to unspecified agencies in the EU and outside and records of movements held for years."

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