Machine translations by Deepl

Nederlands Dagblad, 29 Sept 2012: 'Fingerprint passport under discussion'

"The Council of State doubts whether the Dutch government may require citizens to provide fingerprints for a passport or identity card. The rule potentially violates the right to privacy, which is why the Netherlands' highest court is seeking advice from the Court of Justice in Luxembourg. That is what the Council of State decided yesterday in four cases against municipalities that had refused citizens a passport because they did not want to give fingerprints.

The Council is not convinced that the fingerprints are needed to prevent abuse of travel documents. Moreover, it needs to be clarified whether the government has a duty to ensure that the fingerprints are used only for passports and ID cards and not for other purposes. It will take about a year to a year and a half before the Court comes up with an answer and until then, the cases in the Netherlands are at a standstill, a spokeswoman informed. The foundation Privacy First welcomes the critical stance of the judicial body. 'This is more than we had hoped for, it could be exciting,' says lawyer Vincent Böhre. 'It seems that the European regulation could well be unlawful.' A German court was also critical of the regulation in May this year, asking the Luxembourg court similar questions about fingerprints. The 2009 European rule requires citizens to provide a print of a thumb and a finger when applying for a passport. This information is stored in a chip in the document and is supposed to prevent misuse by criminals and terrorists. But German legal experts argued that the passport photo as well as the fingerprints were a serious infringement of a person's rights, as the measure misses the mark. Because even such a so-called biometric passport is not foolproof."

Source: Nederlands Dagblad, 29 September 2012 (Domestic).