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Parliamentary question - E-000082/2016Parliamentary question

    Hungarian facial recognition database

    Question for written answer E-000082-16
    to the Commission
    Rule 130
    Sophia in 't Veld (ALDE)

    From 1 January 2016 onwards, facial data of all residents of and visitors to Hungary, citizens and tourists alike, will be stored in a database which can be accessed by Hungarian law enforcement authorities. The encoded profiles, generated from identification photos, will be used by a facial recognition programme and may be combined with other databases.

    1. Does the Commission consider indiscriminate collection and storage of biometric data for law enforcement purposes to be in line with the EU Treaties, the Charter of Fundamental Rights, EC law and case law on data protection?

    2. Is the Commission confident that, in view of earlier concerns about government interference with the Hungarian Data Protection Authority, this Authority has the power and the right to act on this case and ensure the enforcement of EU data protection rules? If not, will the Commission start an infringement procedure?

    3. Is the Commission aware that this new law will jeopardise police and justice cooperation within the EU, and notably the European Arrest Warrant and European Evidence Warrant, especially since German and Dutch courts have recently decided to no longer extradite wanted criminals to Hungary?