Slovenia adheres to EU regulation, will release biometric ID cards in 2021

As of August 2 2021, Slovenia will integrate biometric ID cards, however a number of institutions are concerned that data collected could be used for illicit purposes and urges the Interior Ministry to make the proper legislative changes, writes Total Slovenia News.

The initiative is part of a European Union measure to enhance ID card security across member states by implementing a uniform identity card. In April, the European Parliament voted to introduce minimum common security standards for identity cards and residence documents throughout the EU, in order to make it more difficult for terrorists and other criminals to enter the region. ID cards will include security features aligned with passports, such as a contactless chip and the holder’s photograph and fingerprints for biometric identity verification.

The ID cards currently available in the country were first issued in June 1998 for 1.83 million citizens, but they were not upgraded to benefit from increased security. The measure to introduce new biometric IDs will align Slovenia with the rest of EU members that documents with superior security, making them difficult to forge or tamper with.

IDs valid on the date the new biometric cards are introduced will remain valid until they expire, their holders will not have to immediately switch to biometric IDs. This is also applicable to citizens aged 70 or older.

Citizens aged 12 or older will have to give two fingerprints and take a photograph when applying for a biometric passport that will include a chip that stores the biometric data. The ministry assures Slovenian citizens that the biometric data will only be used at border crossings to verify card and holder identity. The plan is to further include more features electronic identification and electronic signature for e-commerce.

“This would make the new Slovenian identity card a means of electronic identification for cross-border transactions,” the ministry said, adding that this would enhance the use of e-services both in the public and private sector.

According to the Office of the Information Commissioner the new cards can have both a positive and a negative effect, which is why biometric data collection and storage require strict regulations, in compliance with EU legislation and guidelines.

“What needs to be ensured is that biometric data are not used for other purposes, which is why the bodies supervising the protection of personal information will certainly be supervising the use of such cards,” the institution said.

Ljubljana Airport has recently partnered with travel technology company Amadeus to test its biometric technology in a pilot that saw the average boarding times reduced by approximately 75%.

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