In the past two decades a series of legal measures (such as the fingerprinting of asylum seekers, visa applicants and passport holders) have progressively aimed at the biometric registration and identification of everybody in the EU. More recent measures include the introduction of biometric identity cards and the creation of a vast database holding the identity data of up to 300 million foreign nationals who are present, have been present, or have been refused entry into the EU.
Justified primarily in the name of providing 'security', these measures form the backbone of a vast biometric identity system that will offer both EU and national government agencies myriad new options for tracking and monitoring the movements and behaviours of citizens and non-citizens alike.
These measures are little-known and poorly-understand amongst specialists, let alone the general public. This project will educate and inform relevant groups and individuals about the challenges the EU’s biometric identity initiatives pose for individual rights in order to increase civil society action (such as campaigns, advocacy, awareness-raising activities, legal cases) and media coverage on the topic, to contribute to attempts to ensure that the EU’s biometric identity initiatives are implemented in a manner that prioritises fundamental rights.
Biometric Europe: Imposing digital identities in the name of security ran from January-December 2020 and was funded by Privacy International.
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