Passenger fingerprints to be Logged and Tracked at British airports

British passengers are in for stricter security checks as British airports contemplate finger print checks after the UK Border Agency declared its intentions on making finger print checks a mandatory security procedure from next year.

The main reason for this move is the fear that the common departure lounges can let any international passenger switch their tickets with that of a domestic passenger.

Such a possibility is a cause of concern for national security as the passenger can move about in the country without the knowledge of the immigration authorities.

Heathrow's Terminal One and Five, Manchester and Gatwick airports are the ones with common departure lounges.

The Information Commissioners Office (ICO) has voiced its concerns with the new security plan and a similar plan previously suggested by the Heathrow Airport was denied by the ICO on the grounds that it was illegal under data protection laws.

The UKBA has made it clear that the Airports are the ones who are responsible for the data protection.

Presently, the only security checks the passengers in common departure lounges have to go through is to get their photographs taken at the security.

With the finger print checks it can be possible for the airport authorities to go through the Interpol databases, wanted lists and look for people using false identities.

All the passengers will have to do is to get their fingerprints scanned after they come out of the lounge.

The ICO considers the old method of facial evalution through photographs to be a better idea as it was less intrusive and effective , however it has asked for more information about the new security check before coming to decision.