More good news from The Sunday Times in Britain:
CHILDREN aged 11 to 16 are to have their fingerprints taken and stored on a secret database, internal Whitehall documents reveal.
The leaked Home Office plans show that the mass fingerprinting will start in 2010, with a batch of 295,000 youngsters who apply for passports.
The Home Office expects 545,000 children aged 11 and over to have their prints taken in 2011, with the figure settling at an annual 495,000 from 2014. Their fingerprints will be held on a database also used by the Immigration and Nationality Directorate to store the fingerprints of hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers.
The plans are outlined in a series of â€œrestrictedâ€ documents circulating among officials in the Identity and Passport Service. They form part of the programme for the introduction of new biometric passports and ID cards.
David Davis, the shadow home secretary, said: â€œThis borders on the sinister and it shows the government is trying to end the presumption of innocence. With the fingerprinting of all our children, this government is clearly determined to enforce major changes in the relationship between the citizen and the state in a way never seen before.â€
…Children under 16 will not be part of the ID card scheme. But the documents show that from 2010 they will still have to be fingerprinted for a new passport.
The prints will initially be stored on the directorateâ€™s database. Once children reach 16 their fingerprints and other personal information will be passed for storage on the register, along with those of nearly 50m adults.