BERLIN (AFP) — A German hacker group on Monday threatened to publish Chancellor Angela Merkel's fingerprints as part of a campaign against the government's use of biometric data in new passports.
The Chaos Computer Club (CCC), one of Germany's oldest and largest hacker organisations, on Saturday published Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble's fingerprints in its own magazine.
Schaeubele's prints were taken from a water glass he used at a public debate, said CCC spokesman Frank Rieger, who predicted it would be easy for the group's supporters to collect similar samples from other public figures, including Merkel, who support the increased use of biometric data.
"We are receiving lots of offers from people right now, saying I can get this person here, this person there," Rieger said.
Former interior minister Otto Schily, president of the federal criminal office Joerg Ziercke and Bavarian premier Guenther Beckstein were also all possible targets, he added.
German passports issued since November 2007 contain a biometric chip with a copy of the holder's fingerprints that can be verified by immigration authorities.
The CCC argues that fingerprints are a poor choice for identification documents because they are easy to collect, and also to reproduce -- the group's website contains a 12-step guide for how to create a fake set of fingerprints.
"The main point we want to illustrate here is that biometric fingerprints don't offer any security, they just enhance the surveillance of citizens," Rieger said.
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