The portuguese Immigration and Borders Service and the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission have yesterday signed a Cooperation Agreement within the framework of a Scientific Study on the Reliability of Fingerprints of Children Under the age of 12 years.
In particular, the contribution of Portugal requires the transmission of a table without the identification of citizens involved, comprising the age and fingerprints, registered in the Information System of the Portuguese Electronic Passport, in accordance with the Agreement signed yesterday.
This Agreement was authorized by the Portuguese Data Protection Authority [Comissão Nacional de Protecção de Dados] in November 2010, and last July got a favourable opinion by the Committee on Constitutional Affairs, Rights, Freedoms and Guarantees of the Portuguese Assembly of the Republic.
The request for cooperation was addressed by JRC, following a request made by the European Parliament to the European Commission for purposes of carrying out a study which would allow assessing the relevance of collecting and using fingerprints, particularly children’s fingerprints. This demand came about within the framework of the evaluation of proposals to amend the Common Consular Instructions, and it is also related with the introduction of biometric data and with the amendment on the regulation on security standards for passports.
The JRC is the European Commission's in-house science service which provides scientific and technical support for the conception, development, implementation and monitoring of European Union policies. It also functions as a reference centre of science and technology for the European Union.