EU to create major biometric database

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Last week the European Parliament voted to create a biometric-tracking, searchable database of EU and non-EU citizens by interconnecting a series of border-control, migration and law enforcement systems.

The new database will be called the Common Identity Repository (CIR) and it is expected to unify records on over 350m people.

CIR is designed to aggregate a user's identity records (name, DOB, passport numbers, etc) and biometrics (fingerprints and facial scans) in one place with this data available to all border and law enforcement authorities.

The new database will help simplify the jobs of EU border and law enforcement officers who will soon be able to search a unified system at a much faster rate as opposed to searching through separate databases individually.

Common Identity Repository

EU officials explained what systems would make up CIR in a statement last week, saying:

"The systems covered by the new rules would include the Schengen Information System, Eurodac, the Visa Information System (VIS) and three new systems: the European Criminal Records System for Third Country Nationals (ECRIS-TCN), the Entry/Exit System (EES) and the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS)."

CIR was approved by the European Parliament recently in two separate votes. The CIR rules for borders and visa checks were adopted by 511 to 123 while the CIR legislation for police and judicial cooperation, asylum and migration was approved 510to 130.

While the new database has raised security concerns, both the European Parliament and the European Council have promised “proper safeguards” to protect consumers' right to privacy and to regulate officers' ability to access data.

Once it's completed, CIR will be the third largest people-tracking database in the world right behind the Chinese government's system and India's Aadhar system. 

Via ZDNet

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Anthony Spadafora

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.