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10.01.2005   Opinion of the Greens-EFA group about the proposal of the Commission to introduce two biometric identifiers

The Greens-EFA group is of opinion that the proposal of the Commission to introduce two biometric identifiers lacks crucial information on important points such as costs, proportionality, added value in security.


The Commission has not provided yet the Parliament with the requested information on:

- the scope and the seriousness of the problem of false documents;

- the results of the former improvements in documents security;

- the error rate of the various biometric options, in particular the lack of reliability of fingerprint, its intrusive character, the risk of misuse.


Yesterday the Chairman of the Article 29 Data Protection Working Party has send a letter to the Chairman of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs in which he pointed out that "the Article 29Working Party has not enough information as to which tests have been conducted, their outcome nor on which basis the Council decision has been taken". Therefore, the Article 29 Working Party "expressed its reservations as to the use of biometric procedures that have not proved efficient and in particular the compulsory use of biometric features such as fingerprints".


For Greens-EFA group it is clear that the introduction of two biometric identifiers having a major impact on the fundamental rights of the persons concerned can represent a threat to security through the risks of abuse, technological flaws and lack of transparency and data protection.


We are therefore suggesting to integrate only one biometric identifier, namely a digital photograph into visas, residence permits and passports and to reject the fingerprint and the storage of these data into a chip.


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