FB pixel

EU expresses ‘critical concerns’ with parliament’s biometric register

Poland and Latvia unveil new biometric guidance


The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) has expressed critical concerns earlier this week about the European Parliament’s plans to install a biometric register.

Elsewhere on the continent, Poland’s data protection authority (UODO) has published new privacy guidelines about the use of biometric data for companies, and Latvia’s Data State Inspectorate (DVI) has released guidance on how to process biometric, facial recognition data in the retail sector.

EDPS warns against use of sensitive data in biometric register

The EU data watchdog has published a written opinion addressing concerns related to the European Parliament’s plans to create a new biometric register, EURACTIV reports.

The solution, which was first trialed last October, creates a central attendance register for Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) based on fingerprint biometrics. The register will allow MEPs to automatically receive their daily allowance, thus eliminating the need for signatures in meeting rooms.

Now, however, the EDPS’ new opinion suggested the European Parliament explore other options for registering MEPs not requiring the “use of sensitive data.”

The document also clarified that, in case of approval from Parliament, the implementation of the new biometric system should be supported by additional privacy safeguards as well as the preservation of the principle of data minimization.

According to documents viewed by EURACTIV, the new system would be costing the EU more than €100,000 (roughly US$117,500).

Poland releases new privacy guidelines for biometrics

UODO pushed back against a court case reversing a ruling it had issued that a school implementation of biometrics as part of a lunch program in the document, claiming that the consent of parents could not be withheld without subjecting children to discrimination, and therefore is invalid under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The agency further argues that unnecessary biometrics use can lead to risks of sensitive data exposure.

To tackle these issues, the Polish data protection authority clarified that biometric data should only be collected in exceptional circumstances, as per Article 9 of GDPR.

In addition, any attempt to collect biometric data should be preceded by a Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA) taking into consideration the basic principles of data protection: necessity, proportionality, and data minimisation.

The new report also highlighted how some institutions in Poland have already been collecting biometric data without conducting serious risk assessments, which eventually led to discrimination.

Latvia unveils biometric data processing plans for retail applications

New guidelines published by DVI address the use of face biometrics in Latvia’s retail sector. The document specifically focused on the risks connected to the processing of biometric data, and the legal basis for biometrics processing.

DVI explained how biometric data could be exposed if not separated from other data flows, as well as highlighting the existence of security risks connected to smartphones and other devices utilizing facial recognition to provide access to specific resources.

The new report concluded by calling companies and institutions to comply with GDPR when it comes to biometric applications in retail, particularly Article 6 and 9.

Article Topics

 |   |   |   |   |   |   |   | 

Latest Biometrics News


Stakeholders see digital ID advantages, but work on standards needed, reports suggest

Businesses recognize the potential for digital IDs to revolutionize customer engagement. Approximately 75 percent of respondents to a new Regula…


Footprint makes a mark on ID verification market with $13M series A round

New York-based KYC and digital identity verification startup Footprint has announced a $13 million Series A funding round led by…


Pindrop claims up to 99% accuracy detecting synthetic voice fraud plaguing call centers

Pindrop has released its 2024 Voice Intelligence and Security Report, and its conclusions will come as no surprise to anyone…


Real-time remote biometrics banned in EU with final green light for AI Act

The European Union’s Artificial Intelligence Act received a final green light allowing it to become the world’s first major regulation…


Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa unveiled as host of 2025 ID4Africa AGM

It’s not only the case with sporting events like the FIFA World Cup, or the Olympic Games. The host of…


Ryanair accused of GDPR violations with biometric passenger verification

Travel policy advocacy group eu travel tech has lodged a formal complaint with the French and Belgian Data Protection Authorities…


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Most Read This Week

Featured Company

Biometrics Insight, Opinion

Digital ID In-Depth

Biometrics White Papers

Biometrics Events