`Automatic linking treats all visitors as criminal suspects’
8th June 2010: A freedom of information request has revealed attempts by the Home Office to link biometric visas to the criminal database.
The request by campaign group No2ID last year, in fact, shows the Home Office planned to cross-references its database of legal immigrants with criminals’ fingerprints.
The development is significant, as it substantiates the argument put forth by the civil libertarians that all citizens are eventually treated like common criminals with dependence on databases.
The document also shows the Home Office considered the feasibility of merging asylum registration cards (ARC) with ID cards for foreign nationals (ICFN). But the documents do not clarify whether the policy was followed through.
Referring to the paper, Politics.co.uk says the document reads these checks enhance the security of the UK and help the UK economy by reducing criminality and deterring criminals from applying for cards and from committing crimes whilst in the UK.
It also reduces reputational risk to the Home Office that migrants convicted of serious crimes are granted leave to remain and issued with a BRP card.
But Phil Booth of No2ID says the automatic linking of biometric visas to the criminal databases effectively treats all visitors to this country, all people who work and live here, as criminal suspects.