The Wiesbaden Administrative Court in Germany has referred a case to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) on whether the obligation to include fingerprints on government ID cards is legal. The German court argues that such storage obligation is not compatible with Articles 7 and 8 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights on the protection of privacy.
This follows the passing of a law by the German Government (Bundestag) that the inclusion of fingerprints was to “strengthen security in passport, ID and immigration documents”, implementing the EU regulation of 2019.
In December 2019, the Digitalcourage association, a German privacy and digital rights organisation, filed a lawsuit against the German Government’s decision that the storage obligation is “disproportionate, unsuitable for fulfilling the intended purpose and not necessary”. The Wiesbaden Administrative Court agreed with these concerns.
The Wiesbaden Administrative Court added that the main purpose of the ID card is not “to be a travel document in the Schengen area like a passport,” and therefore the introduction of such security features “which may be considered appropriate for passports” should not be automatic for identity cards. The German court also complained that the principle of the economical use of personal information from the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is being disregarded and that a data protection impact assessment (DPIA) was not carried out, which in itself could lead to the invalidity of the controversial standard.
The case has now been referred to the ECJ to clarify whether the disputed clause in the EU regulation is valid.
Please contact Jose Saras if you have any questions regarding the above.
The material contained in this article is only for general review of the topics covered and does not constitute any legal advice. No legal or business decision should be based on its content.