Bill on Processing of Biometric Data Forwarded to Parliament

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, September 26, 2019 – By putting forward a bill on the processing of biometric data to strengthen security in Croatia and the Schengen area, the Croatian government wants to secure conditions for interoperability, namely for the linking and processing of a person’s physical traits which enables their uniform identification between the information systems of Croatia and other EU countries.

“Currently the most topical EU initiative in the field of security is the strengthening of data exchange by linking information systems and databases containing biometric data,” Minister of the Interior Davor Božinović said while explaining provisions of the bill that was sent to the parliament from the government’s session on Thursday.

Božinović recalled that in June this year two regulations on interoperability were adopted at EU level, providing a legal framework for the linking of the existing big European systems (Schengen Information System – SIS; Visa Information System – VIS, European Asylum Dactyloscopy Database – EURODAC) and the systems to be established – the European Criminal Records Information System (ECRIS TCN), the Entry/Exit System (EES), and the pre-travel authorisation system for visa exempt travellers (ETIAS).

“Croatia has decided that the issue of interoperability will be one of the priorities of its EU presidency in 2020 and we among leading member-countries in terms of the progress made so far in that area,” said Božinović.

Biometric data are physical traits of a person that enable their uniform identification, the minister said, stressing that interoperability will make it possible to check personal data through all available information systems and databases automatically, whenever a person that is subject to a procedure “puts their finger on a fingerprint scanner”.

This will additionally contribute to security in Croatia and the Schengen area because it will secure a solution to multiple identities with the aim of more accurately identifying persons and preventing identity-related fraud, the minister said, adding that the European Commission had already given Croatia 13.2 million euro to establish new and upgrade existing information systems and implement the interoperability regulations.

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