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Radio 5 (IKON), 11 March 2012: 'The fingerprint that doesn't match'

"Things have gone badly wrong with the introduction of the biometric passport. That is the conclusion of a investigation by former top official Roel Bekker. According to him, the government underestimated the complexity of the digital passport. The Netherlands wanted to be at the forefront in fighting so-called 'look-a-like' fraud, and this became even more urgent after 11 September 2001. As a result, technology experts and weak warnings were hardly heard. The haste with which the biometric passport was subsequently introduced produced a system that 'has not failed', according to Bekker, but that also 'does not work'. Earlier, a trial by the municipality of Roermond that it goes wrong one in five times when reading the digitally stored fingerprint. But since it has never been established in the run-up what the margin of error may be in such a system, it is not even possible to say whether that 20 per cent is a problem or not. Moreover, there has never been clarity on the extent of look-a-like fraud. It has been assumed that this fraud is a major problem, and that biometrics would be the answer to it.
The problems with biometric passports have a long history. Vincent Böhre argued in 2010 in the WRR report 'Happy Landings? 'The biometric passport as a black box' noted that the concept of privacy has increasingly faded into the background since the late 1990s, and there has been hardly any thorough research on the effectiveness of biometrics in passports. Last year, then Interior Minister Piet Hein Donner commissioned research. He then determined under pressure from the Lower House that fingerprints from passports would not be stored centrally or by municipalities for the time being. The Lower House felt that system was not secure and feared mistakes. The municipalities then promised erase the already stored fingerprints from their databases. (...)

Seven lawsuits are now pending from people who have refused to give their fingerprints. They are demanding a valid ID without fingerprints from the government. Last Thursday, for example, the Case of Nanette Boers (25). She thinks the duty to give your fingerprints is a violation of her body integrity, and also warns of abuse. Once you surrender your fingerprints and they are made into a digital file, you have no control over them. That is also the point of Peter Jongenelen (47), who is awaiting a ruling in his lawsuit: 'Forty years ago, if I wanted to steal your identity, I had to break into your house. Now a laptop, which connects to a file somewhere in the world, suffices.'
Privacy First's response to Bekker's report can be found HERE.”

Read HERE the entire article on the website of radio programme 'De Andere Wereld' (IKON). You can view the accompanying reportage at HERE listen back.