European Data Protection Supervisor
Der Europäische Datenschutzbeauftragte

Revision of EURODAC and Dublin Regulations: EDPS welcomes attention devoted to data protection and other fundamental rights

Revision of EURODAC and Dublin Regulations: EDPS welcomes attention devoted to data protection and other fundamental rights

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18/02/2009
18
Feb
2009

Revision of EURODAC and Dublin Regulations: EDPS welcomes attention devoted to data protection and other fundamental rights

Today, the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) adopted two interlinked opinions relating to the proposal for a revision of the EURODAC Regulation and the proposal recasting the so-called "Dublin Regulation" which determines the EU Member State responsible for an asylum application.

These proposals are part of a first package of proposals presented by the European Commission in December 2008 and aiming to ensure a higher degree of harmonisation, increased efficiency of the system and better standards of protection for the Common European Asylum System.

The proposals are of special relevance to the EDPS given his current role as the supervisory authority of Eurodac, a database containing digital fingerprints of asylum seekers which supports the operation of the Dublin Regulation.

The EDPS supports the objectives of the revision and welcomes the considerable attention which has been devoted in both proposals to the fundamental rights of third country nationals and/or stateless persons and, in particular, the protection of personal data.

Peter Hustinx, EDPS, says: "I am aware of the wide fundamental rights' dimension of the two proposals which concern the rights of one of the most vulnerable populations in the European Union: asylum seekers. They are faced with great difficulties when it comes to defending their rights. Hence, it is crucial that an adequate level of data protection is embedded in the system and that privacy rights are ensured around Europe in a thorough and harmonised manner. These proposals represent a step in the right direction."

The opinions also include the following observations and recommendations:

  • rights of the data subject: the EDPS insists on the need to clarify the provisions regarding the rights of the data subjects in both proposals. He underlines in particular the primary responsibility of national authorities to ensure the application of these rights;
  • supervision: the EDPS welcomes the supervision model in the Eurodac proposal, as well as the role and supervisory tasks entrusted to the EDPS in the new system. The envisaged model reflects the current practice which proved efficient;
  • procedures for fingerprinting: as concerns the EURODAC proposal, the EDPS calls for a better coordination and harmonisation at EU level of the procedures for fingerprinting, whether they concern asylum seekers or any other persons subject to the EURODAC procedure. The question of the age limit for fingerprinting deserves special emphasis;

mechanisms for information sharing: the EDPS draws particular attention to the new mechanisms for information sharing introduced in the proposal revising the Dublin Regulation, as it will involve the extremely sensitive personal data of the asylum seekers.