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Interoperability of EU Databases and Access to Personal Data by National Police Authorities under Article 20 of the Commission Proposals


Teresa Quintel

This contribution assesses data protection concerns relating to the processing of personal data carried out pursuant to Article 20 of the interoperability proposals, which were published by the European Commission on 12 December 2017. The proposals seek to enable all centralised EU databases for security, border and migration management to be interconnected by 2023. Under Article 20 of the proposals, Member States would be permitted to implement national provisions that allow national police authorities to query one of the interoperability components with biometric taken during an identity check. Such queries shall prevent irregular migration and ensure a high level of security within Union. In particular, this article seeks to examine the data protection concerns arising with regard to streamlined law enforcement access to non-law enforcement databases included in the interoperable framework, and addresses risks for individuals to become subject to unfair processing under Article 20 of the interoperability proposal.
Keywords: Interoperability, EU Databases, Biometric Data, Random Police Checks, Directive (EU)2016/680, GDPR, Irregular Migration

Teresa Quintel, LLM is an FNR-funded PhD student at the University of Luxembourg and Uppsala University under co-supervision of Prof Mark D Cole and Assistant Prof Maria Bergström. For correspondence: <>.


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