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Compulsory Identification

European Court of Justice: Fingerprints in electronic passport are OK

23 October, 2013
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The European Court of Justice ruled on 17 October 2013 that the inclusion of the fingerprints in the EU electronic passports is lawful.

While the Court acknowledged that taking and storing of fingerprints in passports constitutes an infringement of the rights to respect for private life and the protection of personal data, it ruled that security is more important than privacy and such measures are justified for the purpose of preventing any fraudulent use of passports.

The ruling also claims that the measure of taking fingerprints is not that sensitive, because it "involves no more than the taking of prints of two fingers, which can, moreover, generally be seen by others, so that this is not an operation of an intimate nature."

The decision admits that the electronic pass

State German DPA threatens to fine Facebook for opposing anonymity

16 January, 2013
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This article is also available in:
Deutsch: ULD geht gegen Facebook vor


Germany’s ULD (Data Protection Authority - DPA in the German state Schleswig-Holstein) issued in December 2012 orders threatening Facebook Inc. USA and Facebook Ltd.

Clean IT – Leak shows plans for large-scale, undemocratic surveillance of all communications

21 September, 2012
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This article is also available in:
Deutsch: CleanIT – Pläne zur Überwachung des Internets im großen Stil


A leaked document from the CleanIT project shows just how far internal discussions in that initiative have drifted away from its publicly stated aims, as well as the most fundamental legal rules that underpin European democracy and the rule of law.

The European Commission-funded CleanIT project claims that it wants to fight terrorism through voluntary self-regulatory measures that defends the rule of law.

Electronic identities all over the EU?

23 May, 2012
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This article is also available in:
Deutsch: [Elektronische Identitäten für alle EU-Bürger?

State of play for ID cards in Europe

8 September, 2010
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This article is also available in:
Deutsch: Personalausweise in Europa


A new analysis was made public by Statewatch based on the answers to a questionnaire regarding the "state of play concerning electronic identity cards" in the EU Member States and countries that are members of the so-called "Mixed Committee" that is part of Schengen (Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway and Switzerland).

The 23 replies to the questionnaire show that: - 17 countries make it mandatory for their citizens to have an ID card, four do not; - 13 countries issue traditional ID cards, eight issue cards containing contact and/or RFID chips, two countries do not issue ID cards (Norway, UK).

Of the eight countries that issue electronic

Lack of coordination in European eID privacy features

11 February, 2009
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(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)

The EU funded European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA) issued, on 27 January 2009, its Position Paper on security features in European eID schemes, showing a large disparity between the various systems which might affect their usefulness.

The paper is an analysis of 10 ID card systems already used in EU and 13 under development. The eID cards are presently used mainly in relation to tax declarations and other e-Gov services with some applications in the commercial sector as well, but their application will largely extend in the future.

France: Who have they forgotten to control today?

28 January, 2009
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(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)

The CNIL, the French Data Protection Authority, has published on 20 January 2009 a report on a massive control operation it conducted on the STIC ("Système de traitement des infractions constatées" or "Recorded offences treatment system"), a huge police database. The report reveals that the STIC is consulted by each one of the 100.000 authorised policemen 200 times a year on average. This immediately reminded me the old British Telecom's slogan: "who have you forgotten to call today?"

Police files have been the main concern in France in 2008, especially after the creation, by decrees published on 1st July 2008, of two new intelligence databases, EDVIGE and CRISTINA.

Freedom not Fear Prague: Do It Yourself Carnival burst in the city center

22 October, 2008
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(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)

On 11 October 2008 Prague hosted the DIY Carnival which marched through the city centre in the name of the worldwide initiative "Freedom not Fear".

Starting with a concert of several music groups on the river island Stvanice, more than 1000 people wearing masks outnumbered crowds of tourists on the fancy streets of the Old Town and protested against increasing surveillance within the society.

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