EU approves new biometric border check rules

27/11/18

The Council of the EU has adopted new rules on fingerprinting and palm print sharing that it says will strengthen security in the Schengen area.

The changes are being made to the Schengen Information System.

The SIS will now start sending out alerts on unknown suspects or wanted persons, which provide for the introduction into the SIS of fingerprints or palm prints discovered at the scenes of serious crimes or terrorist incidents and which are considered to belong to a perpetrator.

Meanwhile, new regulations introduce the possibility of using facial images for identification purposes, in particular to ensure consistency in border control procedures. It also allows for the inclusion of a DNA profile to facilitate the identification of missing persons in cases where fingerprint data, photographs or facial images are not available or not suitable for identification.

The Council and the European Parliament now need to sign the adopted regulations. The signed texts will then be published in the EU Official Journal and will enter into force 20 days later. However, the new features of the SIS will only be fully operational at a later date, once all the legal and technical preconditions have been met

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