Unified face recognition system may appear in EU

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European Union law enforcement agencies intend to build a network of national police databases covering all EU countries. According to internal documents at the disposal of The Intercept journalists, the databases will store images of citizens’ faces.

The report, prepared by law enforcement officials of ten EU countries, talks about the need to create new European legislation that would allow the construction of such an interconnected database “as soon as possible”. The report was reviewed by officials in November last year. According to The Intercept, preparatory work on the bill is already underway.

The report was made as part of a discussion of the possibility of extending the effect of the Prüm Convention on facial images. Its authors urge Europol to facilitate the exchange of biometric data with countries outside the EU. A potentially interconnected database network could extend to the United States.

The United States has been seeking access to more data available to the EU since 2004. At that time, the US Embassy in Brussels called for “a relationship that allows (USA – ed.) To join forces with EU members in the fight against crime and terrorism through the extensive exchange of all forms of data, including personal data.”

Prüm Convention (Schengen) – Convention on the Promotion of Cross-Border Co-operation to Combat Terrorism, Cross-Border Crime and Illegal Migration, signed in 2005 by seven EU countries. In particular, the convention provides for the exchange of operational information, fingerprints and genetic data of persons of potential danger.

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