EU Council adopts biometric justice regulations
15 May 2019 16:50 GMT

The EU Council has adopted two regulations establishing a framework for interoperability between EU information systems in the area of justice and home affairs.

The council said easier information sharing will considerably improve security in the EU, allow for more efficient checks at external borders, improve detection of multiple identities and help prevent and combat illegal migration. All this while safeguarding fundamental rights.

"Interoperability between information systems will allow the systems to complement each other, help facilitate the correct identification of persons and contribute to fighting identity fraud".

The regulations establish the following interoperability components:

A European search portal, which would allow competent authorities to search multiple information systems simultaneously, using both biographical and biometric data.
A shared biometric matching service, which would enable the searching and comparing of biometric data (fingerprints and facial images) from several systems.
A common identity repository, which would contain biographical and biometric data of third-country nationals available in several EU information systems.
A multiple identity detector, which checks whether the biographical identity data contained in the search exists in other systems covered, to enable the detection of multiple identities linked to the same set of biometric data.

The systems covered by the two regulations provide support for national authorities in the areas of security, border and migration management, visa processing and asylum. The new regulations do not modify the rights of access as set out in the legal basis relevant for each European information system, but will ease and improve information sharing.