Take good care of your fingertips. You won’t be going anywhere without them.
The European Parliament has just voted to include fingerprint data on passports:
The European Parliament signed up to a plan Wednesday to introduce computerized biometric passports including people’s fingerprints as well as their photographs, despite criticism from civil liberties groups and security experts who argue that the move is flawed on technical grounds.
Civil liberties arguments aside, what happens if you don’t have any fingerprints? Maybe you don’t have arms, or hands, or maybe you’ve just lost them through disease or employment. They have an answer, but you might no like it:
People with no hands would obviously be exempt from the new fingerprint-based biometric passport system. Instead, they would have to apply for temporary, 12-month passports in order to travel, the MEPs agreed.
So if you can’t give fingerprints, you won’t get a proper passport—only a temporary one-year document. Given that many countries require entrants to have passports valid for six months, that restricts your freedom of movement further.
Your rights are thus predicated upon your physical characteristics. In another era, we felt that to be unacceptable discrimination. I hate this paranoid society I live in.