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Date: 2004-11-29

EU: Fingerprints ante portas

Mittwoch oder Donnerstag soll das EU-Parlament den Beschluss der Innenminister absegnen, Fingerabdrücke in Reisepässen Eu-weit verpflichtend festzuschreiben. Ansonsten gibts was auf die Rübe vom Innen/mini/sterat - es wird nicht einmal das Anhörungs/verfahren richtig durchgeführt.
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We the undersigned are calling on you to reject the 'Draft Council Regulation on standards for security features and biometrics in passports and travel documents issued by Member States'. This is an unnecessary and rushed policy that will have hazardous effects on Europeans' right to privacy. This policy process requires additional oversight, and the eventual systems established will require significant controls and a strong legal framework to ensure that this is a proportionate response to the war on terrorism. In particular, we call for the removal of the requirement for fingerprinting all EU citizens.

We are quite alarmed by the political dynamics at play in this policy decision.

The Council of the European Union pressed the European Parliament into including the Coelho reports on biometric identifiers on the agenda for the mini-session on Wednesday, 1 December 2004.
Behind closed doors on October 25 the Justice and Home Affairs Council decided to introduce mandatory fingerprinting for all EU citizens into the draft regulation.
The Parliament's response to this significant shift in policy is even more alarming: a majority of the Presidents of the Political Groups acccepted the claim that the change was not sufficient grounds for the report to be sent back to the LIBE Committee for further consideration.
If the Presidents had refused to accept, the Council would have called for an urgency procedure.
If the Presidents had refused, the Council would have also delayed the introduction of the co-decision procedure for immigration and asylum issues to April 1 instead of January 1.

These dynamics are irresponsible and unhealthy for a functioning democratic system.

Securing our passports from fraudulent use is indeed a pressing need, particularly considering the substantial number of blank passports lost every year. The proposed policy that is being presented to you for review will however have significant implications. This policy is dependent on an unprepared and under-developed technological infrastructure. It will therefore lead to an increased risk of abuse.

We are calling on the European Parliament to reject this policy. The case still has not been made openly and clearly as to why biometric passports are required. There is a lack of adequate safeguards. We urge the Parliament to oppose the creation of an EU-wide database of personal data. We further urge the Parliament to oppose mandatory fingerprinting as an unnecessary and disproportionate act. Finally, we are calling on the Parliament to reserve the right to question the legal basis of the proposal.

Im Volltext

http://www.privacyinternational.org/issues/terrorism/ep_letter_biometrics.html




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edited by Harkank
published on: 2004-11-29
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