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Biometrics

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

ECJ to rule on the biometric passports

10 October, 2012
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This article is also available in:
Deutsch: EuGH befasst sich mit biometrischen Reisepässen


The Dutch administrative court asked the European Court of Justice (ECJ) whether the EU Regulation obliging member states to store fingerprints in passports and travel documents infringes the right to privacy.

This is a result of four cases in which Dutch applicants had been refused the issuing of their passports because they did not accept to provide their fingerprints.

France: Biometric ID database found unconstitutional

28 March, 2012
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This article is also available in:
Deutsch: Frankreich: Biometrie-Datenbank verfassungswidrig


The French Constitutional Council found the law proposing the introduction of a new biometric ID for French citizens as unconstitutional.

Britain: Government reneges on DNA privacy promise

27 July, 2011
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This article is also available in:
Deutsch: Britische Regierung bricht ihr Versprechen DNA-Daten zu löschen


In Britain, the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government has announced that it will not delete the DNA records of suspects who were arrested but subsequently acquitted or never charged.

CoE refuses to start investigation on biometrics

18 May, 2011
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This article is also available in:
Deutsch: Europarat lehnt Biometrie-Untersuchung ab


In an answer to the 31 March 2011 petition calling the Council of Europe (CoE) to start an in-depth survey under Article 52 of the European Convention on Human Rights, Thorbjørn Jagland, the Secretary General of the CoE refused to start an investigation on the collection and storage of citizens' biometric data by member states.

In his answer, Secretary General Jagland mainly points to the CoE Resolution 1797, adopted in March 2011.

NGOs ask CoE to investigate government collection of biometrics

6 April, 2011
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This article is also available in:
Deutsch: Allianz ersucht Europarat um Untersuchung der staatlichen Nutzung biom...


An international alliance of organisations, including EDRi and several EDRi-members, and individuals from 27 countries has lodged a petition calling on the Council of Europe to start an in-depth survey on the collection and storage of biometric data by member states.

European governments are increasingly demanding the storage of biometric data (fingerprints and facial scans) from individuals. These include storage on contactless "RFID" chips in passports and/or ID cards.

Final call for petition on government use of citizens' biometrics

9 March, 2011
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This article is also available in:
Macedonian: Последен повик за петиција за владина....

Deutsch: Petition gegen die Nutzung biometrischer Daten durch den Staat

By means of a petition, the international Alliance 'Hands off biometrics' will urge the Council of Europe to start an investigation on the collection and storage of biometric data by Member States.

European governments are increasingly demanding storage of biometric data (fingerprints and facial scans) from individuals.

UK Supreme Court to hear DNA cases

9 February, 2011
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This article is also available in:
Deutsch: Oberster Britischer Gerichtshof prüft DNS-Fälle


Following a decision of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), the UK Coalition Government has recently stated its intention to dramatically reduce the retention period of DNA data.

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