A story to warm the cockles of any South African ever to visit the US … Its Department of Homeland Security is about to increase its security screenings at airports – no longer scanning just two index fingerprints into its biometric system, but all 10 digits.

All foreign travellers to the US are biometrically fingerprinted into a database that can be checked by relevant federal bodies such as Homeland Security, the police or the FBI.
The Daily Telegraph reports that the new screening process is currently on trial at 10 US airports and is planned for rollout nationally within a year. It says that authorities claim the existing two-digit process takes 15 seconds (not in my experience, maybe I've got fat fingers – Ed) and that the new process will "not take significantly longer than that".
The Telegraph points out that there are already concerns in Europe about the amount and significance of data held by US authorities on European air passengers, given that country's less stringent privacy laws. In an agreement signed between the European Commission and the US, airlines are already obliged to submit more than 34 pieces of information about every passenger that travels to the US.
The European Parliament has opposed this deal and a new agreement is due to be signed later this year.
The report adds that the US's Department of Homeland Security is believed to have arrested 1 800 suspects since biometric identification was introduced but that, in order to do so, it has collected the fingerprints of 80-million passengers.