Former CIA director sees slow creep toward nationwide fingerprinting

Former CIA director sees slow creep toward nationwide fingerprinting

American citizens face the prospect of having to submit fingerprints to the government to make it easier to fight terrorism, former CIA director James Woolsey says.

Taking a high-level overview of the challenges facing the United States in pursuing terrorists globally, Woolsey said biometric technologies will play a key role in striking a balance between security and liberty. Woolsey, a vice president with Booz Allen Hamilton Inc. of McLean, Va., spoke yesterday at the 2004 Biometric Consortium Conference in Arlington, Va.

During the question-and-answer session, Woolsey was asked if citizens will have to be fingerprinted to help screen for potential enemies.

'I would imagine something like that is coming,' he said.

The use of fingerprints for identifying citizens is likely to grow incrementally, rather than through the implementation of a national identification system, said Woolsey.

'They could be used for getting on airplanes, for instance,' he said.

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