UK Home Office Backs ‘Coercion’ to Get Migrants’ Biometric Data

Fingerprint BiometricsBritain’s Home Office is backing a hardline stance on the part of the European Union to get the fingerprint data of illegal immigrants. As asylum-seekers continue to reach the continent from across the Mediterranean, EU members are seeking to make fingerprinting compliance compulsory.

That means that ‘coercion’ can be used to get those fingerprints, meaning the threat of detention or deportation. While the Home Office ministers cautioned that such measures should not be used on children or pregnant women, it did back the overall idea on the basis that some asylum seekers are refusing to give their fingerprint in the countries in which they land, seeking instead to attain refugee status in another EU country of their choosing. Getting their biometric data into the Eurodac database could help to reduce such practices, ensuring that migrants are granted asylum in the countries in which they land.

While government use of biometrics is on the rise in Britain, it isn’t yet widely used as a means of border control, though the wider European Union is currently assessing its options. Australia, meanwhile, has adopted a notoriously tough stance on illegal immigration, and to that end has considered comprehensive biometric border control, though not without intense debate. A new bill that recently passed that country’s Senate will allow border authorities to collect the biometric data of children as young as ten.

Source: Mail Online

August 31, 2015 – by Alex Perala