Fingerprints in Dutch passports

All new Dutch passports will contain two fingerprints from the passport’s owner as part of an EU-wide approach to crack down on identity fraud.

Each person will give four fingerprints when applying for their passport. Two fingerprints will be saved on a microchip on the passport. All four will be stored by the government – initially locally, but ultimately all fingerprints will be included in a central ‘travel document administration.’

With this storage of biometric data the Netherlands is going beyond the requirements of European regulations. The EU only stipulates that biometric data be included on the passport in order to better fight identity fraud in Europe. The Netherlands is the only European member state where a central database of fingerprints has been legally approved – although there are similar plans in Belgium, Finland, France and Greece.

But unlike in other European countries, all the Dutch fingerprints will eventually be held in a central data bank which police will be able to access to help with solving crime. Until the central data base is completed, the information will be stored by local councils.

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