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EU plans to collect fingerprints of convicted foreigners

The European Union wants to collect fingerprints and information about all foreigners convicted of crimes in the 28-nation bloc to help fight terrorism and cross-border crime.

EU Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova said that "by including fingerprints of non-EU citizens we will have a strong tool to tackle the use of false identities".

The data would be stored on the criminal records computer ECRIS, which gives judges and prosecutors access to suspects' backgrounds.

Currently, information about convicted foreigners is kept only in national records. Authorities have to request it individually.

Convicted EU citizens are on the ECRIS database, but their fingerprints are not stored.

In future, nations could decide what offences to flag on the database, meaning people who enter irregularly or overstay visas could be listed.

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