Government drops central fingerprint database, for now at least

The government and local councils are to stop storing fingerprints taken for biometric passports for eventual use in a central database, home affairs minister Piet Hein Donner confirmed in a statement on Wednesday.

Donner says there are currently too many concerns about the security and reliability of the system. However, the long-term aim is still to set up a national data bank, the minister says.
The news comes as Trouw reports that there is no longer a majority in favour of the database in parliament because the VVD Liberals have also turned against it.
There are still too many problems with the storage, margins of error and potential manipulation, VVD MP Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert told the paper.
The decision to stop storage means the fingerprints will only be accessible on a chip in the passports themselves.
It is not yet clear what will happen to the fingerprints which have already been taken. More clarity is expected from the minister later on Wednesday.

Earlier stories

Court upholds passport fingerprint demand
MPs angry at fingerprint database plan
Fingerprints included in Dutch passports

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