The Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service (SEF), represented by its National Director, António Beça Pereira, and the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission, represented by the Director of JRC's Institute for the Protection and Security of the Citizen, Stephan Lechner, signed last Tuesday June 9 a Protocol for provision of depersonalised fingerprints with a view to draft the second part of the study on the reliability of these type of biometric data. The ceremony had the presence of the Secretary of State for Internal Affairs, João Almeida.
The first study (which had national collaboration following an agreement signed by SEF and JRC in 08/11/2011) was conducted upon request of the European Parliament and concerns the reliability of fingerprints from children under 12 years old. The study’s report was delivered by JRC during the ceremony.
These studies had a favourable opinion from the National Committee for Data Protection [Comissão Nacional de Proteção de Dados] and from the Committee on Constitutional Affairs, Rights, Freedoms and Guarantees of the Portuguese Parliament [Comissão de Assuntos Constitucionais, Direitos, Liberdades e Garantias da Assembleia da República].
More specifically, Portugal’s contribution to this second phase of the study takes on the provision of a table with sets of fingerprints from minors and young adults (aged from 0 to 25 years old) as well as adults over 65 years old, that are included in the Information System of the Portuguese Electronic Passport [SIPEP - Sistema de Informação do Passaporte Eletrónico Português].
The provision of data has the sole purpose of conducting the scientific study on the technical possibility and reliability of the use/recognition of fingerprints of these age groups for verification and identification of the person, under the EU objectives on border control and identity management systems.
JRC is a European Commission service aimed at providing scientific and technical support to the conception, development, implementation and monitoring of EU policies, working as a reference centre for science and technology in the EU.