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EDRi booklets

Biometrics

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.

Romania: Protests against biometric passports

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

A few hundred Romanians gathered on 1 February 2009 to protest against the introduction of the obligatory biometric passports starting with the beginning of 2009.

The event comes after the first passports with biometric identifiers (including fingerprints) were issued at the end of January in the county of Ilfov, as a first implementation in the country.

Privacy in Germany 2008: A new fundamental right, a privacy mass movement, and the usual surveillance suspects

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

The year of 2008 can be marked as the year where privacy moved high on the public agenda in Germany. On 1st of January, the law on data retention went into effect, which made Germany drop from number one to seven in the country ranking published by Privacy International. At the same day, a constitutional challenge was submitted at the supreme court. The German working group on data retention and its allies managed to have more than 34,000 people participate in this case - the largest constitutional complaint ever seen in German history.

ECHR decided against the UK DNA Database

17 December, 2008
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(Article corrected on 18 December 2008 on DNA database figures and the Counter Terrorism Act 2008)

(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)

On 4 December 2008, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) gave its judgement in the Marper case related to the controversial National DNA Database used by the UK Police for criminal investigations, stating the retention of cellular samples, fingerprints and DNA profiles constitutes an infringement of the right for private life as per Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The case was brought to court in 2004 by Michael Marper and a boy called "S" who, in separate, unrelated cases, had been taken their DNA after having been arrested.

Cloning e-passports

27 August, 2008
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(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)

Jeroen van Beek, a computer researcher at the University of Amsterdam, has shown in some tests conducted for The Times that the new micro-chipped passports, introduced in UK to protect against terrorism and organised crime, can be easily cloned.

The researcher has succeeded in cloning the chips of two British passports in which he introduced the pictures of Osama bin Laden and a suicide bomber and in passing the cloned chips as genuine through Golden Reader, which is the standard passport reader software used by the UN agency setting standards for e-passports and which is also recommended for use at airports. The cloning operation took less than an hour.

ENDitorial: Massive mobilization against EDVIGE, the new French database

16 July, 2008
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(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)

Remember the movie 'Das Leben der Anderen' (The Lives of Others), where a Stasi agent was monitoring a playwriter's life? This doesn't translate anymore in French into 'La vie des autres', but rather into EDVIGE, the name of a newly created database to be used by French intelligence services and the administrative police.

EDVIGE will file "individuals, groups, organisations and moral persons which, due to their individual or collective activity, are likely to attempt to public order". Not only these persons will be filed (without any offence committed), but also "those who undertake or have undertaken direct and non fortuitous relations with them." Filing starts at age 13.

Complaint against the French govt to annul the biometric passport decree

16 July, 2008
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(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)

Two French associations, EDRi-member Imaginons un réseau internet solidaire (IRIS) and Ligue des droits de l'Homme (LDH), have filed a complaint against the French government before the highest administrative Court. They ask the French Conseil d'État to annul the decree issued on 30 April 2008 by the French government on biometric passports.

The associations consider the decree had been issued under an irregular procedure by publishing the Opinion in the Official Journal 6 days after the decree had been published, instead of presenting them at the same time, as required by law.

The provisions of the decree stipulate the collection of eight fingerprints for passport applicants starting with 6 years old children and the creation

The French Government goes against CNIL in biometric passports

21 May, 2008
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(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)

Ignoring the opinion of the French Data Protection Authority - the National Commission for Information and Liberties (CNIL), on 4 May 2008, the French Government passed a decree on the basis of which the French citizens will have biometric passports that will include eight fingerprints and a digital picture. The data will be introduced in a large national database.

Although symbolical, CNIL's opinion should have been published alongside with such a decree in the Official Journal. The Government's decree went against CNIL's unfavourable opinion given on 11 December 2007 which was published a week after the decree. Alex Türk, president of CNIL reinforced the commission's position on 16 May 2008, on the occasion of the

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