At the time when the USA is imposing fingerprinting on foreign visitors to help combat terrorism, Germany is proceeding the other way round, by fingerprinting its own people rather than foreigners. Officially, as always, it is to reinforce security. The fact is that all Germans (with a passport, so almost all Germans) will be fingerprinted with their data stored in a central computer. I thought the time of the Stasi was over...

DW : New Fingerprint Passports Raise Privacy Concerns

Quote Originally Posted by DW
In response to growing terrorism concerns, Germany will require fingerprints on all new passports issued as of Thursday, Nov. 1. The move has alarmed data-privacy activists.
The electronic fingerprints, as well as the biometric digital photograph already required, will be stored on an invisible, electronically scannable data chip on the inside flap of the document.

The new technology aims to make the passport more secure. By using biometric data, border guards can see whether passport and carrier actually belong together.