Top European official proposes fingerprinting visitors to European bloc

Every visitor to the European Union would have to provide fingerprints before being allowed to enter EU countries, under plans unveiled by the European Commission to clamp down on illegal immigration. Also included in the plan, is an initiative to record the arrival and departure of non-EU citizens, and store the data in a single database as part of an overhaul of border security. All 27 EU governments must approve the scheme before it can come into force in 2013. Civil rights groups who fear that it could lead to a fortress Europe mentality against foreigners and possible identity theft have criticized the plans.