IT systems can help trace missing migrant children and combat identity theft. But there are also significant risks to people’s fundamental rights, for instance not being fairly treated within the asylum procedure. So finds the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) in a new report. As authorities increasingly rely on these systems, the report suggests ways to better defend the rights of those affected.
“IT boosts efficiency but what are the risks to fundamental rights?” asks FRA Director Michael O’Flaherty. “This question, often posed but rarely examined in detail needs close attention to ensure the rights set out in the EU's Fundamental Rights Charter are upheld. Adequate safeguards will help minimise rights violations and build trust in the greater use of IT systems for enhanced security and smoother migration flows.”
As IT systems are increasingly being used for migration and security, the ‘Under watchful eyes – biometrics, EU IT-systems and fundamental rights’ report explores the impact of these systems. It also sets out how to safeguard people’s fundamental rights:
IT systems can also be a force for good. Nearly a third of border guards had come across children flagged as missing. This shows how IT systems can help trace missing and trafficked children. They can also provide information about people who arrive without travel documents if they are already in the system. They can thus help ensure that people are not unlawfully refused access.
Notes to editors: