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Dutch Parliamentarian Questions Privacy of Passport Biometrics


Dutch home affairs minister Liesbeth Spies is being urged to protect biometric details of Dutch passports from US authorities.

Morpho BV, which is part of the American Safran group, produces passports for The Netherlands. Susceptibility of fingerprint and facial scans being accessed by the US is of concern to D66 parliamentarian Gerard Schouw.

“Biometric information is not infallible and identity fraud is possible,” Schouw says in Thursday’s issue of de Volkskrant, a national daily Dutch newspaper. “The cabinet is not protecting Dutch citizens’ privacy sufficiently.”

Shouw intends to raise the issue to the European Commission so appropriate solutions can be taken. He is also filing a motion to the Dutch cabinet, pointing out the laxity in protecting Dutch citizens’ privacy sufficiently. He is urging Home affairs minister, Liesbeth Spies, to take the necessary steps in securing Dutch citizens biometrics data.

During her briefing with Members of Parliament, Spies said the possibility is always there for US authorities to access Morpho’s databank, however, any requests will have be decided in the U.S. legal system taking into consideration European and Dutch rules.

Spies is also holding discussions with Morpho on further protecting the biometric databanks so it can be secured from foreign access, as reported by news agency ANP.

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