European Data Protection Digest

Committee Supports Police Access to Asylum Database

INFORMATION ACCESS—EU

December 20, 2012

Members of the Justice and Home Affairs Committee have voted in support of a bill that would allow authorities access to a fingerprint database on asylum seekers, spawning criticism from some privacy advocates and regulators, reports EUobserver. Under the plan, police would be able to cross check asylum seekers’ fingerprints with other government databases to aid in criminal investigations. The European Data Protection Supervisor is questioning whether the access is necessary, saying the commission hasn’t demonstrated a need. One member of the European Parliament stated, “This is an important step in the wrong direction.” The proposal will go next to “trialogue negotiations” before a debate in plenary early next year, the report states.
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