EU Approves Biometric Passports
European Parliament has agreed to introduce biometric passports, which will include citizens' fingerprints.
Those in favor of the switch have cited "security" as their rationale, but the actual security of biometric passports is far from given.
An overwhelming majority of members of the European Parliament supported the bill, making only modest changes to a proposal originally drawn up by the European Commission, the executive body of the E.U.
Philosophically, they are opposed to the creation of a computer database containing so much personal information about innocent citizens. Technically, they argue that biometric passports are only as safe as the existing paper documents they will replace, and could even make it easier for criminals to travel across borders once they obtain false biometric IDs.
But it's important to understand their limitations as well as their strengths. On the strength side, biometrics are hard to forge. It's hard to affix a fake fingerprint to your finger or make your retina look like someone else's. [...]
On the other hand, biometrics are easy to steal. You leave your fingerprints everywhere you touch, your iris scan everywhere you look. Regularly, hackers have copied the prints of officials from objects they've touched, and posted them on the Internet.
(found via Slashdot)