Sweden and the US to share fingerprint data
23 June 2017 15:23 GMT

The Swedish government has reached a deal with the US to use each other's fingerprint databases when looking for suspects.

While the Swedish and US police agreed in principle in 2011 to share fingerprint information, critics had expressed concern over privacy and it has been the topic of two separate government inquiries in Sweden.

Before, the Swedish police had to file a request with the US to gain access to fingerprints from the FBI's database in a process that could take several weeks.

After the summer, however, police in both countries will be able to browse in each other's fingerprint registers in the event of crimes punishable with over a year in jail. Only Sweden's Left Party voted against the decision in parliament.

The news follows the US's agreement to allow visa-free travel for Swedes, among other nationalities, and in exchange it requested to get access to and share police information between countries. 

Only the Left Party voted against the decision in parliament.

“This means that the US can access Sweden's entire fingerprint register for crimes that have a fairly short sentence in Sweden,” the party's spokesperson on legal issues, Linda Snecker, told Swedish public radio.