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EU developing international criminal fingerprint database

[JURIST] The European Commission (EC) [official website] plans to develop a common fingerprint database that includes data collected from criminals convicted of serious crimes within member states, a spokesperson announced Friday. EC spokesperson Ana-Paula Laiss denied claims made in the London Times that the database would require fingerprints even from people released without charge [Times report]. The fingerprint plan was mentioned as part of the European Union (EU) Counter-Terrorism strategy [factsheet, DOC] last week.

Sharing criminal information, including fingerprints and DNA, was the goal of the 2005 Treaty of Prüm [text, PDF], which was ratified by Germany, Spain, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Austria, and Belgium. On Thursday, Finland announced its support for ratification [press release]. Reuters has more.

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