Finding the Balance between Security and Human Rights in the EU Border Security Ecosystem
In order to address the ‘complex landscape’ of large-scale information systems which have developed within the fields of migration and security, the European Union adopted two Regulations on Interoperability (Reg (EU) 2019/817 and Reg (EU) 2019/818) on the 20th May 2019. These twin Regulations establish a framework composed of four components: firstly, a European Search Portal (ESP); secondly, a Shared Biometric Matching Service (BMS); thirdly, a Common Identity Repository (CIR); and fourthly, a Multiple-Identity Detector (MID).
Through these components, the EU seeks to close information gaps which exist between the various information systems, enabling the different systems to supplement each other. The EU argues that doing so helps to ensure the correct identification of individuals presenting themselves at an EU border, and assists in achieving a number of aims such as improving the effectiveness of external border checks, preventing illegal immigration and contributing to a high level of security within the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice.
While beneficial from the standpoint of simplifying data exchange, these Regulations raise significant human rights concerns, particularly in relation to privacy and data protection. Through considering this ‘complex landscape’ through a holistic perspective, this article considers whether rather than simplifying how the information within these databases are accessed, the Interoperability Regulations, in fact, further complicates it, by failing to take into account the importance of the respective purposes behind each individual database.
As an ecosystems approach highlights, rather than looking at the interoperability provisions in isolation, greater attention should be paid to the wider context within which these databases have developed. It is suggested that by ignoring this context, these Regulations prioritise the development of new tools for security purposes at the expense of the human rights of migrants.
EJLT is an open access journal, aiming to disseminate academic work and perspectives as widely as possible to the benefit of the author and the author’s readers. It is the assumption of the EJLT that authors who publish in the journal wish their work to be available as freely and as widely as possible through the open access publishing channel.
Authors who publish with EJLT will retain copyright and moral rights in the underlying work but will grant all users the rights to copy, store and print for non-commercial use copies of their work. Commercial mirroring may also be carried out with the consent of the journal. The work must remain as published – without redaction or editing – and must clearly state the identity of the author and the originating EJLT url of the article. Any commercial use of the author’s work - apart from mirroring - requires the permission of the author and any aspects of the article which are the property of EJLT (e.g. typographical format) requires permission from EJLT.
Authors can sometimes become no longer contactable (through, for example, death or retirement). If this occurs, any rights in the work will pass to the European Journal of Law and Technology which will continue to make the work available in as wide a manner as possible to achieve the aims of open access and ensuring that an author's work continues to be available. An author - or their estate - can recover these rights from EJLT by providing contact information.
The European Journal of Law and Technology holds rights in format, publication and dissemination.
EJLT, as a non-commercial organisation - which receives donations to allow it to continue publishing – must retain information on reader access to journal articles. This means that we will not give permission to mirror the journal unless we can be provided with full details as to reader access to each and every journal article. We prefer and encourage deep linking rather than mirroring. Encouragement is thus given for all users – commercial and non-commercial – to provide indexes and links to articles in the EJLT where the index or link points to the location of the article on the EJLT server, rather than to stored copies on other servers.
Please contact the European Journal of Law and Technology if you are in any doubt as to what this statement of use covers.