France has become the first European country to introduce a new voluntary finger printing system which should allow speedy travel within the EU bloc.
French Immigration Minister Eric Besson led the way at Charles de Gaulle airport by allowing his finger prints to be recorded along with the details of his passport.
The new computerised technology allows participating travellers to enter a country by merely touching a scan that can confirm their identity.
The technology is to be tried out in France for travel to other Shengen area countries – the 25 European states that have abolished all border controls between each other.
Civil rights activists in France oppose the new system, saying its the thin end of the wedge towards biometric iris scans and as such is an infringement of personal integrity.