The European Parliament has pushed through controverisal proposals to create one of the world’s biggest repositories of biometric data, amidst concern from civil liberties advocates as well as the EU’s own data protection authorities.
MEPs approved the Common Identity Repository (CIR) as part of a broader scheme of linking together a range of identity-related databases across the EU.
The new rules linking together existing security, migration and border management systems are intended to help combat militant attacks, and were introduced in the wake of a string of incidents in 2015.
It’s intended for use by police and border guards along with systems that will allow them to cross-check biometric data across member states’ existing systems.
“Interoperability will help those working in the frontline to keep EU citizens safe – ensuring police and border guards have efficient access to the information they need, including to fight identity fraud, enables them to do their jobs properly,” said commissioner for the Security Union Julian King following the vote.
The Commission said the new measures would “expedite the ongoing efforts at EU level to improve internal security”.