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Biometrics: Airports

Volume 479: debated on Monday 29 September 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what use the UK Border Agency will make of data collected during biometric fingerprint checks at airports. (214145)

A broad range of biometrically enabled measures have already been introduced or are planned for deployment by the UK Border Agency. These include:

The processing of 1st and 2nd generation e-travel documents (passports and ID cards) at the Border;

The recording of the biometrics of all individuals applying for a visa or entry clearance to travel to the UK;

The enrolment of biometrics of foreign nationals in the UK and issuance of biometric residence permits;

The verification of visa holders’ identity by the scanning and checking of their fingerprints; and

The issuing of biometric identity documents to individuals recognised as refugees, granted humanitarian protection etc.

The enhanced use of biometrics will enable individuals to be locked down to a single identity, preventing the opportunity for multiple identities to be created and used, and helping to ensure that UKBA's strategic objectives to secure our border and tackle immigration crime are met.

Legal powers have extended our capability to capture fingerprints from other categories of passengers. This includes, among others, those who have been detained; those for whom removal directions have been set and those who have been granted temporary admission, and where there have been doubts about their compliance with such a grant.

The use of biometrics in border control processes supports UKBA's strategic objectives to strengthen our borders. Increasingly, biometrics are used to confirm a person's identity for law enforcement purposes.