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EU votes to create gigantic biometrics database #Biometrics #Privacy #EU @ZDNet @campuscodi

Via ZDNet: The EU Parliament voted last week to interconnect a series of border-control, migration, and law enforcement systems into a gigantic, biometrics-tracking, searchable database of EU and non-EU citizens.

This new database will be known as the Common Identity Repository (CIR) and is set to unify records on over 350 million people.

Per its design, CIR will aggregate both identity records (names, dates of birth, passport numbers, and other identification details) and biometrics (fingerprints and facial scans), and make its data available to all border and law enforcement authorities.

Its primary role will be to simplify the jobs of EU border and law enforcement officers who will be able to search a unified system much faster, rather than search through separate databases individually.

Once up and running, CIR will become one of the biggest people-tracking databases in the world, right behind the systems used by the Chinese government and India’s Aadhar system.

In the US, the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Federal Bureau of Investigations run similar biometrics databases.

Privacy

Privacy advocates are only now getting a handle on how this will affect privacy. Many posters on Catalin Cimpanu’s Twitter announcement reacted negatively.

Privacy advocates have called CIR’s creation as the “point of no return” in creating “a Big Brother centralised EU state database.”

Statewatch has put out a paper (PDF) on implications.

Do you have privacy concerns? Do you believe this will help security? Let us know in the comments below.

 


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