European Commission Urges Italy to Ramp Up Fingerprinting Efforts

European Commission Urges Italy to Ramp Up Fingerprinting EffortsAs Europe’s ongoing refugee crisis continues, the European Commission is asking Italy to improve its collection of newcomers’ fingerprint biometric data. According to a new report, the EC is even telling Italian officials to collect the data by force in situations where migrants’ refuse to submit their fingerprints.

Italy has evidently failed to fully comply with European Union border screening requirements, with the latter having recently initiated investigations against Italy, Greece, and Croatia into their practices with respect to collecting and transmitting migrants’ biometric data to the EU’s databases. The EC is also pushing Italy to increase the number of operational refugee processing facilities in the country, with only one of six such ‘hotspots’ currently up and running.

Italy is at the forefront of an overwhelming flood of migrants to Europe that has compelled other EU members to turn to the increasingly sophisticated capabilities of biometric technologies to help manage border screening and control. Spanish authorities, for example, have implemented a biometric eGate system at La Línea de la Concepción, an important Schengen border; and of course EU authorities are now requiring all non-European Schengen visa holders to obtain biometric e-passports, which will further spread biometric border screening in the region. Meanwhile, in the wake of last month’s tragic terror attacks in Paris, many organizations are now calling for even stricter border control measures, with biometric technology expected to play an increasingly important role in the months and years to come.


December 15, 2015 – by Alex Perala