Opinion on the Initiative of the Federal Republic of Germany, with a view to adopting a Council Decision on the implementation of Decision 2007/…/JHA on the stepping up of cross-border cooperation, particularly in combating terrorism and cross-border crime, OJ C 89, 10.4.2008, p. 1
On 19 December 2007, the EDPS issued his Opinion on the German initiative establishing implementing rules which are necessary for the functioning of the Council Prüm initiative. This initiative aims to step up cross-border cooperation, particularly for fighting terrorism and cross-border crime, by establishing mechanisms to exchange personal data such as DNA profiles and fingerprints.
In his Opinion, the EDPS holds the view that a clear, effective and comprehensive legal framework - combining general provisions and specific tailored rules on data protection - should be in place before the current Prüm initiative enters into force. He also points out that the initiative's implementing rules and their annex are of particular importance since they define crucial aspects and tools of the exchanges of data that are essential to ensure guarantees for concerned persons.
More specifically, the EDPS recommends the following:
- the initiative and its annex should benefit from a broad and open discussion involving all relevant actors, such as the European Parliament and Data Protection Authorities;
- the accuracy in searches and comparisons of DNA profiles and fingerprints should be duly taken into account and constantly monitored, also in the light of the larger scale of the exchange;
- relevant data protection authorities should be put in a position to properly carry out their supervisory and advisory role throughout all the different stages of the implementation.