EU: EDPS ON SMART BORDERS: European Data Protection Supervisor

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"There is no clear evidence that the Commission Proposals to create a smart border system for the external borders of the EU will fulfil the aims that it has set out, said the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) today. Following the publication of his opinion which focuses specifically on the Entry/Exit System, the EDPS said that one of the stated aims of the proposals was to replace the existing 'slow and unreliable' system but the Commission's own assessments do not indicate that the alternative will be sufficiently efficient to justify the expense and intrusions into privacy.[...]
As law enforcement authorities may potentially be granted access to the database after a period of evaluation of the system coming into force, it appears that the proposals are anticipating such access before demonstrating that the intrusion into the private lives of individuals is actually necessary. The general trend to give law enforcement authorities access to the data of individuals, who in principle are not suspected of committing any crime, is a dangerous one. The EDPS strongly recommends that the precise added value of such access, compared with access to existing biometric databases, be identified."
(emphasis in original)

See the full report: Smart borders: key proposal is costly, unproven and intrusive (Press release,.pdf) and Full-text of Opinion (pdf)

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