A fingerprint is now mandatory for ID cards – but there are criticisms

From now on, two fingerprints are also part of the ID card.

© Karl-Josef Hildenbrand, Christophe Gateau / dpa, collage: RUHR24.de

Your fingerprint is now saved on new ID cards. However, it is questionable whether this protects against fraud.

NRW – If the wallet is stolen, the ID will usually have to be replaced. If you want to apply for a new ID, you have to hand in your fingerprints from now on. This would make it difficult for criminals to forge personal identification. However, the opposite may now happen.

Parliament German Parliament
Modification Fingerprints on the ID card
valid since 2. August 2021

ID card fingerprinting is now mandatory: experts warn of data misuse and fraud

The federal government had already passed this rule in November 2020, and the decision has been in effect since Monday (August 2): anyone who needs a new ID is now obligated to digitally scan two fingerprints, usually those of the two. index finger. Previously this was voluntary.

But soon after the law was put into effect, there were many dissenting voices. Some experts even fear that this is good food for criminals. Scammers usually use insidious scams, such as viruses on Android smartphones, to gain access to user data. But now this can also work “offline” with the help of ID card.

Therefore, according to the information received from Deutschland Funk culture The Digital Data Protection Initiative is now being sued. They say because “fingerprints are repeatable”. Criminals can copy the literature and use it for their own purposes. Friedman Ebelt of Digital Courage, for example, warns that a cell phone can be hacked as a result.

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If the smartphone is unlocked using the fingerprint, this can have serious consequences. For example, criminals can access banking details and rob the account.

Scammers can also access accounts in social media and platforms such as online stores more easily. So it is now important to properly protect your mobile phone.

Fingerprints on the personal identity card: danger with biometric data of citizens

Some politicians also consider the move to make fingerprints on ID cards mandatory. Parliamentary group leader Konstantin von Knots (Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen) sees significant risks to citizens in the decision. After all, such data as cracked passwords cannot simply be replaced.

Konstantin von Notz warns that “if data incorrectly gets into the wrong hands, this leads to permanent risks for those affected, since vital data is virtually immutable.” Liberation Network Germany (RND). This is also “extremely concerning” due to identity theft. Stored fingerprints are supposed to protect against such crimes. Because they are not identical even to identical twins.

From now on, the identity card in Germany must contain two fingerprints.

© Wolfram Kastl / dpa

In addition to fingerprints, the face is one of the most popular biometric data, and therefore is also stored in the chip in the identity card, the federal government explains. In the future, the corresponding biometric image must be sent digitally by the imaging shop or authority.

Fingerprint ID: The Federal Government Gives It All Against Scammers

Concerns about the security of your data are unnecessary. “Because the chip must be read up close, with a maximum distance of 10 centimeters, the data on the chip cannot be read without your knowledge,” the federal government says officially.

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For this a “special reader is necessary”. This is “only given to some government agencies”. This includes authorities such as the police, customs and civil offices that issue the identity card. The device is not available anywhere else.

Brooke Vargas

"Devoted gamer. Webaholic. Infuriatingly humble social media trailblazer. Lifelong internet expert."

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