Offener Brief ans EU-Parlament wegen Biometrie

Die European Digital Rights Initiative (EDRi), Statewatch und Privacy International haben einen gemeinsamen Offenen Brief ans Europa-Parlament verfasst („An Open Letter to the European Parliament on Biometric Registration of all EU Citizens and Residents“), indem sich die Organisationen gegen die Einführung von Biometrie in Pässe auf Druck der USA aussprechen. Mittlerweile findet der Offene Brief immer mehr Unterstützer und eine Vielzahl an Organisationen und Initaitiven aus dem Bereich Netzpolitik unterstützen ihn. (Aus Deutschland u.a. der Chaos Computer Club, Foebud und das Netzwerk Neue Medien)

Hier ist ein Auszug aus den Forderungen:

Greater Oversight is Required

The fatal flaw in this entire policy process is the lack of adequate supervision, oversight, and deliberation. This must be rectified. We call on the European Parliament to play this key role in democratic process.

We call on the European Parliament to:

* Re-establish essential safeguards for the proposed systems, including those that were set out in the Parliament’s report, and in particular the abandonment of an EU-wide database.

* Require and/or establish a legal framework for the collection and use of personal information in travel documents and border programmes. This framework must be consistent with the European Convention of Human Rights, and in particular Article 8. This would include requiring clearer statements of purpose and use, so that the data collected is not used for generalised surveillance or other purposes.

* Require that this legal framework also ensure that the systems supporting this policy are secure, with clear lines of accountability, and that the collection procedures are well understood. Only then can we begin to understand the complexity of the system involved, and in turn the potentially severe cost implications.

* Call for the establishment of mechanisms for the oversight of the planning, implementation, testing, and use of biometrics in travel documents.

* Remove the unnecessary requirement of mass fingerprinting of EU residents and citizens.

* Review the technological implications of this and related policies. In establishing what could be one of the largest database systems in existence, we are alarmed by the lack of publication, public discourse, and scrutiny of the costs and implications of this policy. We need valid research of the problem, which can then be relayed to the Parliament, focussing on cost implications, legal implications, technological implications, and potentials for abuse.

* Call on the research and policy community to propose alternative solutions that are privacy-friendly. Alternative systems and technologies exist, as we already see that the U.S. is not intending on generating a fingerprint registry. Innovative solutions must be brought to the forefront to preserve European values, rights, democratic standards, and laws.

* Reserve the right to question the legal basis especially as the Parliament will have no chance to examine or change the implementing rules.

The EU is embarking on a policy that will make our most personal information the currency of travel, while creating one of the world’s largest surveillance infrastructures. This is unprecedented and unnecessary.

These are serious times and we need serious policy based on effective deliberation. Rushing this policy through the European Parliament is not required, when careful scrutiny is necessary. The EU’s respect for privacy is often considered the global gold-standard, and yet now the EU is revolutionising surveillance. When combined with data profiling and data sharing proposals also being developed by the Commission and the Council, Europe faces the real prospect of creating a surveillance behemoth.

We call on MEPs to oppose this proposed policy, and we look forward to working with you in the future on establishing effective policies for securing our societies whilst simultaneously securing our rights and liberties.