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UK Home Office agrees deal with US on biometric data sharing

Written by Fri 8 Jul 2022

UK Passport

The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the UK Home Office have allegedly worked out a deal to provide US border officials complete access to UK police-held biometric data.

Patrick Breyer, a member of the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE), reported that an “informal meeting” had recently taken place between representatives of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and LIBE, where the reintroduction of visa requirements was threatening to “force EU Member States to grant access to biometric databases.”

According to Breyer, three EU member states and the United Kingdom have already signed an agreement with the US. When asked by the LIBE committee what data the DHS was interested in accessing, officials responded: “as much as possible”.

When the Home Office was asked by The Register if they were signing up for the partnership, they declined to confirm or deny this request.

“I expect the EU Commission and also the German government to reject the demand of the US authorities and not allow themselves to be blackmailed. If necessary, the visa waiver programme must be terminated by Europe as well. Millions of innocent Europeans are listed in police databases and could be exposed to completely disproportionate reactions in the USA,” said Breyer on his website.

For Breyer, these types of deals expose EU and UK citizens to a range of issues, including increasing the risk of arbitrary detention and false suspicion, due to the lack of data and rights protection in the US. “We must protect our citizens from these practices,” he adds.

The US believes that this deal will not only improve border security, but it will also help identify security risks. Israel already ratified this deal in March this year.


Written by Fri 8 Jul 2022


biometric database government security UK US
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