U.S. now requires 10 fingerprints from foreign visitors

Damn I just heard today that the U.S. has decided to further expand its biometric data collection at airports. Since 2004 visitors to the U.S. were required to give 2 fingerprints upon arrival in 115 airports, 15 seaports and 154 land border checks in the U.S. but now they plan to start a program at 10 airports which will include 10 digital fingerprints and possibly also other biometric data such as facial and eye retina scans.

The pilot program will affect travelers from countries participating in the U.S. Visa Waiver Program, as well as those coming from nations where visas are required, he said.

Airports chosen for the pilot project include Boston Logan International, Chicago’s O’Hare, George Bush Houston Intercontinental, Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International, Miami International, John F. Kennedy International, Orlando International, San Francisco International and Washington Dulles International.

European Union data protection officials have raised privacy concerns in the past about the U.S. system and a similar fingerprint system being set up by EU nations.

Wright said data would be collected on visitors under strict U.S. privacy protection rules. But he added the prints are checked against U.S. security watch lists and that the FBI and the CIA also have access to the prints.

The 10-print scans would be “virtually 100 percent match accurate,” he said.

“We are going to know that that’s you,” Wright said. Adding other biometric identifiers — such as facial or retinal scans — could help better rule out fraud, he said.

U.S. officials claim the data will be stored for 75 years! There goes your privacy 😕

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