Czech delays fingerprinted passports

April 11, 2008 at 6:58 PM

PRAGUE, Czech Republic, April 11 (UPI) -- Czech President Vaclav Klaus has signed a bill postponing the issuing of passports bearing the fingerprints of owners until 2009.

The bill postponed the release of the passports from May of this year until April 1, 2009, after the European Union experienced delays in approving the technical guidelines for the safety mechanisms included in the new passport design, Czech press agency CTK reported Friday.

The Czech Republic's current passport design, which has been used since 2006, includes a machine-readable chip that contains digital photographs of the passport holders. The new design would add fingerprint data to the chips.

The new design follows an EU directive issued in 2004 that called for European countries to add fingerprint data to passports.

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