The Parliament of the European Union voted to create a big biometric database, which is known as CIR or Common Identity Repository. The database is going to join together the records of more than 350 million people, and it will also help in simplifying the jobs of the law and border enforcement officers of EU.
The European Union will set up a unified database
The Parliament of EY agreed to join together the records of EU citizens, along with its visitors in a vast biometric database. This database, which is known as CIR, is going to consolidate the identity biometrics and records of EU, as well as non-EU citizens, and it will even make it available to immigration, and some other border enforcement agencies.
These identity records are going to include dates of birth, names, passport numbers, and some other ID details and information. The biometric data in the meantime include facial scans and fingerprints. The primary purpose of the biometric database is to actually make it quite easier for EU law and border enforcement personnel to search for information about people faster. This is an upgrade to the system of right now of going through various databases when searching for information.
Common Identity Repository’s interoperability is going to make sure that the officers of the enforcement of the law have seamless, fast, controlled, and systematic access to information which they need to perform their tasks. It is also going to detect several identities which are connected to the same set of biometric data, as well as facilitate identity checks of third-country nationals or TCNs on the territory of a country that is a member to EU, by police authorities.
Moreover, the CIR which is about third-country citizens is going to enable identification of TCNs which lack proper travel documents too. When a TCN does not have an identity document or the authenticity of the document is doubtful, police authorities are going to use the CIR to identify the person, utilizing biometric data using the SBMS or travel-document details by MRZ.
The EU Parliament approved the creation of CIR on April the 15th
On Monday, the 15th of April, the European Parliament approved the creation of CIR in two different votes. In the primary election, the CIR rules for visa and borders checks got a massive vote of 511, while about 123 members voted against it.
Similarly to this, the CIR legislation for judicial and police cooperation, migration and asylum, had the support of 510 members, while about 130 members have not favored its establishment.
According to certain officials of the European Union, the systems which are going to be covered by these new regulations are the ECRIS-TCN or European Criminal Records System for Third Country Nationals, the ETIAS or European Travel Information and Authorization System, the VIS or Visa Information System, the Schengen Information System, Eurodac, and the EES or Entry/Exit System.
Privacy advocates don’t support the creation of CIR
Some privacy advocates haven’t endorsed the establishment of the unified biometric database ever since the plan has been made public during 2018.
They actually believe that the creation of the Common Identity Repository is going to be a point of no return in the development of what they called a Big Brother centralized EU state database.
But, both the European Parliament and the European Council assured its citizens that they are going to safeguard their right to privacy adequately, and they will regulate the access to data by law enforcement officers too.
Upon the Common Identity Repository’s creation, it is going to join the Aadhar system of India, and the system of the government of China as one of the largest directories worldwide that tracks people.
The FBI, together with the CBP or Customer and Border Protection, operates similar biometric directories in the U.S.