Eurodac: Council seeks swift agreement on expanded migrant biometric database
The Slovenian Presidency of the Council is planning to accelerate negotiations on a vast expansion of the Eurodac database, which will hold sensitive data on millions of asylum seekers and migrants in an irregular situation, by 'delinking' the proposed rules from other EU asylum and migration laws under discussion.
The Slovenian Presidency of the Council is planning to accelerate negotiations on a vast expansion of the Eurodac database, which will hold sensitive data on millions of asylum seekers and migrants in an irregular situation, by ‘delinking’ the proposed rules from other EU asylum and migration laws under discussion.
The Presidency’s proposal comes a week after 31 human rights organisations called on the European Parliament to “implement a temporary delay to the legislative process to give due time for significant consideration of the fundamental rights implications of the proposed EURODAC reform,” something that has not yet been taken meaningfully into account.
Under the Eurodac proposals, more personal data could be gathered from asylum seekers, and authorities would also be able to store data on irregular migrants, which would hold not just fingerprints but facial images and other information.
If the Presidency’s plan is adopted, this change would be introduced without any need for agreement on other measures proposed as part of the EU’s ‘Pact on Migration and Asylum’, a negotiating tactic that has also been used in talks on the revamped rules for the European Asylum Support Office, due to become the European Agency for Asylum.
A note circulated by the Council Presidency on 15 September sets out a number of proposed amendments to the rules, the aim being “to delink the text of the draft Regulation from the other proposals of the Pact which are under negotiation. This will make it possible to continue the negotiations and possibly proceed to the adoption of the Regulation.”
Under the new Eurodac rules, records held in the system could also be linked, making it possible to track peoples’ journeys within the EU (known in official discourse as “secondary movements”), and the data held would also be used for checks against visa and travel authorisation applications.
Some of the data gathered under the Eurodac rules would be held in the new ‘Common Identity Repository’, a vast biometric database that will be able to hold up to 300 million individual records on non-EU nationals, currently under construction in accordance with the EU’s ‘interoperability’ initiative.
The article was first published by EDRi’s member Statewatch here.
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