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Sweden agrees to exchange fingerprints with the US

Published: June 22, 2017
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Source: The Local

There are around 165,000 fingerprints in Sweden's database, compared to the US' 100 million. Photo: Gorm Kallestad/NTB scanpix/TT
 

A new government decision paves the way for Swedish police to strike a deal with their American counterparts to get permission to use each other's fingerprint databases to look for suspects.

Swedish police have previously had to send a request to the US in order to search for fingerprints in the FBI's database, a process which usually takes almost two weeks, reports Swedish radio.

But after the summer police in the two countries will be able to browse each other's fingerprint registers for crimes for which there is a potential custodial sentence of more than a year in jail.

The background is that the US is allowing visa-free travel for Swedes, among other nationalities, and in exchange has requested to get access to and share police information between countries. Sweden and the US agreed in principle in 2011 to share fingerprint information, but critics have expressed concern over privacy and it has been the topic of two separate government inquiries in Sweden.

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