By EDRi

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Deutsch: [Stellungnahme des EDSB zur Asylwerber-Datenbank der EU | https://www.unwatched.org/EDRigram_10.17_Stellungnahme_des_EDSB_zur_Asylwerber-Datenbank_der_EU?pk_campaign=edri&pk_kwd=20120918]

On 5 September 2012, the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS)
issued his opinion on the amended Commission proposal for a Regulation
of the European Parliament and of the Council on the establishment of
EURODAC database for the comparison of the fingerprints of asylum seekers.

EURODAC was established by an EC regulation on 11 December 2000
concerning the establishment of a database for the comparison of the
fingerprints of asylum seekers for the effective application of the
Dublin Convention. On 30 May 2012, the Commission adopted a proposal
concerning a modification of the EURODAC Regulation that also provides
access to EURODAC data for law enforcement purposes by Member
States’ law enforcement authorities and Europol. Peter Hustinx, EDPS,
stated in his opinion that while the availability of a database with
fingerprints could be a useful additional tool in combating crime, this
new amendment represents “a serious intrusion into the rights of a
vulnerable group of people in need of protection.”

“Just because the data has already been collected, it should not be used
for another purpose which may have a far-reaching negative impact on the
lives of individuals,” said Peter Hustinx who added that such an
intrusion risking the stigmatisation of individuals should have a strong
justification and that the Commission has not “provided sufficient
reason why asylum seekers should be singled out for such treatment.”
Hustinx asked the Commission to provide solid evidence and reliable
statistics for the need to access EURODAC data and added that in case
such a need is supported by evidence, the access to the database should
be subject to strict, appropriate safeguards.

The EDPS also recommended that the access to the data by law enforcement
entities should also be subject to “specific and clearly defined
criteria such as a substantiated suspicion that the perpetrator of a
terrorist or other serious criminal offence has applied for asylum” and
that the request for access for law enforcement purposes should be
verified by an independent authority or, preferably, submitted for prior
judicial authorisation.

Other recommendations are that the proposal should clearly emphasize
that the transfer to third data is prohibited, that it should specify
more clearly the rules on retention or deletion of data and that it
should include an improvement of the provisions on data security.

Among the conditions for access, the EDPS included the consultation of
the Visa Information System, the existence of a substantiated suspicion
that the perpetrator of a terrorist or other serious criminal offences
has applied for asylum and the “substantial contribution for law
enforcement purposes and clarifying what is understood by reasonable
grounds”

Privacy czar: Civil rights at stake in asylum database proposal (6.09.2012)
http://www.euractiv.com/specialreport-data-protection/eu-advisor-commissions-fingerpri-news-514635

EDPS Press Release – EURODAC: erosion of fundamental rights creeps along
(5.09.2012)
http://www.edps.europa.eu/EDPSWEB/webdav/site/mySite/shared/Documents/EDPS/PressNews/Press/2012/EDPS-2012-12_Eurodac_EN.pdf

Opinion of the European Data Protection Supervisor on the amended
proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council
on the establishment of “EURODAC” (5.09.2012)
http://www.edps.europa.eu/EDPSWEB/webdav/site/mySite/shared/Documents/Consultation/Opinions/2012/12-09-05_EURODAC_EN.pdf