EU is allowing the linking of face recognition databases

EU is allowing the linking of face recognition databases

Digital rights advocates accuse the EU of working to create the world’s largest biometric surveillance infrastructure, thanks to a proposal known as “Pruem II“.

The original Pruem Convention was signed in 2005 by Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Spain, outside of the EU’s framework – but “open” to the bloc’s other member countries, 14 out of 27 of which have since joined.

The treaty is intended to strengthen cross-border cooperation in the fight against crime and terrorism. This means that the parties to the treaty have previously collected, processed, and exchanged data such as fingerprints, DNA, information on vehicle owners, and the like.

The huge database would then be available to police in various countries across Europe to match photos of suspects using facial recognition algorithms in an automated process.

European Digital Rights (EDRi) policy adviser Ella Jakubowska has been quoted by Wired as saying that what the EU is creating is “the most extensive biometric surveillance infrastructure that I think we will ever have seen in the world.”


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