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Insta-CoGo: Who Are You?

Cindy Loose

Americans would have to submit fingerprints and in some cases facial scans before being allowed to enter Europe under a proposal that will likely be considered this week by the European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union. The rule would also apply to citizens of other countries who can now enter Europe without visas.

The proposal, as drafted, would pretty much copy current U.S. rules requiring foreigners to be fingerprinted and photographed before coming into the United States. The rule is also in place in Japan. In fact, the United States is currently testing the collection of 10 fingerprints from foreigners, instead of the two it has been collecting.

The test is taking place at Bush Houston Intercontinental Airport and is intended to "enhance security and facilitate legitimate travel by more accurately and efficiently establishing and verifying visitors' identity," according to a release. I'd take from that the current fingerprinting system is not only not efficient, but inaccurate as well.

Personally, I'll go to Europe and offer my fingers and face if it's required, but I don't much like it, and am not convinced it enhances security. Wouldn't the money on both sides of the Atlantic be better spent improving and consolidating the records of known criminals and terrorists so that when officials check fingerprints against records, the records are complete, comprehensive and accurate?

What do you think?

By Cindy Loose |  February 14, 2008; 10:42 AM ET  | Category:  Cindy Loose , Insta-CoGo
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this may not be the right place to post this, but it looks like there is some sort of summer sale going on. Flights to London from IAD for late August have dropped quite a bit compared to what they were just yesterday or the day before. Coach is now about $900 (was over $1100), premium economy $1500 (was $1800-1900), and business class as low as $2750 or so and that includes BA's ClubWorld. That price is over $1000 off what it was just a couple of days ago. Virgin's UpperClass is about the same depending on dates.

Posted by: Glenn | February 14, 2008 12:52 PM

Worrying about your privacy is like shoveling water uphill. It's a lost cause.

Amazes me that some people will scream about protecting their privacy and then use a supermarket card that ebables the corporation to track their every purpose but allows them to save 20 cents on a can of beans.

When you enter a country and show your passport, the customs people can already look up your criminal record, your credit score, and what type of beans you buy at the A&P.

Posted by: Tom | February 14, 2008 6:14 PM

Since we do it to them, it's only fair if they do it to us. I rather like Tom's comment about the supermarket card. Does this mean the Brits will perhaps look on me more favorably for seeing that I drink Twining's?

Posted by: Balwearie | February 15, 2008 12:14 PM

I agree with Balwearie. If tourists coming here go thru it, why shouldn't we when we go there?

Posted by: rja112 | February 19, 2008 1:38 AM

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