Tuesday 1 April 2008, by European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS)
On 26 March 2008, the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) adopted an Opinion on the Commission’s proposal aiming at revising the 2004 Council Regulation that sets out minimum standards for security features and biometrics in passports and travel documents.
The EDPS welcomes the introduction of exemptions from giving fingerprints based on the age of the person or his/her inability to provide fingerprints. These exemptions are part of the fallback procedures that should be implemented. However, the EDPS still considers these exemptions as insufficient to remedy the imperfections of biometrics, such as the impact of misidentification or failure to enrol.
Peter Hustinx, EDPS, says: «The fact that the Commission took into account the need for fallback procedures, stated in previous opinions, is more than welcomed. These exemptions are however still unsatisfactory. They fail to address all the possible and relevant issues triggered by the inherent imperfections of biometric systems, and more specifically those related to children and elderly.»
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