New report on the rights implications of biometric data and IT systems

Date: 24th April 2018
Category: Protection of privacy

A new report outlines the fundamental rights implications of using IT systems to collect biometric data in the areas of borders, visa and asylum in Europe.

The report, entitled 'Under watchful eyes: biometrics, EU IT systems and fundamental rights', discusses the risks to people's rights that can arise from using these systems. For example:

  • Data can be hacked;
  • Data of children may stigmatise them into adulthood;
  • Oppressive regimes may access data of people seeking refuge.


Further, around 50% of European border and visa officials interviewed spoke of data entry mistakes in their IT systems.

However, the report also highlights the positive impact that IT systems can have on migrants. For example:

  • Nearly a third of border guards had come across children flagged as missing;
  • They can provide information about people who arrive without travel documents if they are already in the system, thus helping to ensure that people are not unlawfully refused access.


The report has a specific section on the best interests of the child which details the risks and opportunities IT systems pose for children's rights.