European Dactyloscopy System - EURODAC - NEMZETI ADATVÉDELMI ÉS INFORMÁCIÓSZABADSÁG HATÓSÁG

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European Dactyloscopy System - EURODAC

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The Dublin Convention, signed in Dublin on 15 June 1990, aims at preventing asylum applicants from applying in several Member States at the same time.  On 01 January 2014 the third generation of the Dublin Regulation, the currently applicable Regulation (EU) No 604/2013 of the European Parliament and the Council (Dublin III Regulation) came into force. This and its implementing Regulation (Commission Regulation No 118/2014 amending Commission Regulation No 1560/2003) are the basis of the “Dublin procedure”.

The scope of countries applying Dublin procedure (all together 32 European countries) is wider than the Schengen Area and the European Union.


According to the principle of the Dublin Regulation the responsibility for examining an application for asylum shall lie with the Member State which played the biggest role in entering the „Dublin territory” of the asylum seeker either legally or illegally. However, the principle of family unity and wider range of rights granted for (unaccompanied) minors should be taken into account during the procedure.

The Dublin Regulation widely guarantees the right to information for the applicants. For proper information on the Dublin procedure the common leaflets drawn up by the European Commission and completed with additional Member State-specific information by the Member States shall be used. More information about the procedure can be found on the website of the Immigration and Asylum Office.

Since in most cases asylum seekers and irregular migrants do not possess valid travel documents or other appropriate documents to establish their identity, fingerprints constitute an important element in establishing the exact identity of such persons.

By Council Regulation (EC) No 2725/2000 concerning the establishment of “Eurodac” for the comparison of fingerprints for the effective application of the Dublin Convention which was replaced by the currently applicable Regulation (EU) No 603/2013 of the European Parliament and the Council on 20 July 2015 the Member States created the so called Eurodac (EUROpean DActylographic Comparison) system. By the comparison of the fingerprints stored in the system Eurodac enables the countries applying the Dublin Regulation to determine whether a person staying illegally and/or applying for asylum in one of the countries of the “Dublin territory” has previously applied for asylum in another Member State or has entered the “Dublin territory” illegally. Based on the comparison of the fingerprints the Member States are able to determine which Member State is entitled and obliged to carry out the asylum or aliens policing procedure of the person concerned.

“Eurodac” consists of a Central Unit that was established within the European Commission and operates a computerised central database suitable for the comparison of fingerprints, and
the electronic means of data transmission between the Member States and the central system.


What kind of data are collected?

The data stored into the Eurodac database depends on the data subject, of which there are three categories:

  • Category 1: asylum seekers;

  • Category 2: persons apprehended in connection with the irregular crossing of an external border of the “Dublin territory” and were not turned back;

  • Category 3: persons found illegally present in a Member State


1. Data collected on asylum seekers (over 14 years old)

  • fingerprint data;

  • Member State of origin, place and date of the application for international protection;

  • sex;

  • reference number used by the Member State of origin;

  • date on which the fingerprints were taken;

  • date on which the data were transmitted to the central system;

  • operator user ID.


These data are stored in the system for ten years, and then they are automatically erased. If an asylum seeker acquires the citizenship of any Member State the data shall be erased immediately.

If a Member State grants international protection (refugee status or subsidiary protection) to an asylum seeker, his/her data shall be marked in the central database based on the Member States
instructions. However, these data shall be made available for comparison for law enforcement purposes for a period of three more years.


2. Data collected on persons apprehended in connection with the irregular crossing of an external border (over 14 years old)

  • fingerprint data;

  • Member State of origin, place and date of the apprehension;

  • sex;

  • reference number used by the Member State of origin;

  • date on which the fingerprints were taken;

  • date on which the data were transmitted to the central system;

  • operator user ID.


Data can only be recorded and processed in the system if the data subject is over 14 years old and he/she was not turned back. These data are stored in the system for 18 months, unless the data subject has acquired the citizenship of any Member State, has been issued with a residence document by a Member State or has left the territory of the Member States. In these cases data shall be erased from the system as soon as possible.


3. Data collected on persons found illegally staying in a Member State (over 14 years old)

  • fingerprint data;

  • reference number used by the Member State of origin.


In this case the aim of recording and transmitting data can only be to check whether the person concerned has previously lodged an application for asylum in another Member State(s), and if so, when. These data are not stored in the system.

Fingerprinting and data transmission

The list of designated authorities which have access to data recorded in the central system of Eurodac for the purpose of facilitate the effective application of the Dublin Regulation.

In Hungary, the fingerprints of asylum seekers are taken by the Immigration and Asylum Office; the fingerprints of persons apprehended in connection with the irregular crossing of an external border (external Hungarian borderlines of the “Dublin territory” are the Hungarian-Serbian and the Hungarian-Ukrainian borderlines) and are not turned back are taken by the Police; the fingerprints of persons found illegally staying in Hungary are taken by the Immigration and Asylum Office or the Police.

The data processor is the Hungarian Institute for Forensic Sciences in respect of all three categories. The Institute is responsible for transmission of data to the Eurodac Central Unit, for receiving of data and for comparison of data.

In order to protect personal data, Member States which transmit data to the Eurodac system have to ensure that the procedure for taking fingerprints, and all operations relating to data process, data transmission, data storage or data erasure are lawful.

The data processing activities concerning Eurodac are supervised by the European Data Protection Supervisor in cooperation with the national supervisory authorities. In Hungary, the supervisory authority is the National Authority for Data Protection and Freedom of Information.


Access to Eurodac for law enforcement purposes

As a result of the efforts of the Hungarian presidency in 2011, the legitimacy and importance of Member States
needs to have access to Eurodac for law enforcement purposes was recognized by the European Commission in its communication on migration of 04 May 2011. This communication contained that the Common European Asylum System (CEAS) should have such a Eurodac database which continues to facilitate the effective application of the Dublin Regulation and at the same time under very strict conditions meets the needs of law enforcement authorities.

For reasonable law enforcement purposes, designated authorities of the Member States and the law enforcement agency of the European Union (Europol) may request the comparison of fingerprint data with the fingerprint data stored in the central system in order to establish the exact identity of the suspect or victim of a terrorist offence or other serious criminal offence and to obtain additional information about the person concerned. This excludes both the comparison of Eurodac data in relation to non-serious criminal offences and the systematic or mass comparison of data.

The requesting law enforcement authority receives a “hit/no hit” notification on whether the national asylum databases of the Member States contain any information about the person concerned. In case of positive result (“hit”) further information about the person concerned can be requested in accordance with other legal provisions on exchange of information.

Hungarian authorities with access to Eurodac for law enforcement purposes

NATIONAL ACCESS POINT

VERIFYING AUTHORITY

 

Hungarian Institute for Forensic Sciences
Dactyloscopy Department

National Police Headquarters
Directorate for Criminal Affairs

Address

H-1087 Budapest, Mosonyi utca 9.

H-1139 Budapest, Teve utca 4-6.

Postal address

H-1903 Budapest, Pf. 314/4.

H-1903 Budapest, Pf. 314/15.

Telephone

+36-1-477-2161
+36-1-477-2150

+36-1-443-5500

Fax

+36-1-477-2185
+36-1-477-2196

+36-1-443-5569

E-mail

bszki@orfk.police.hu
dachu@orfk.police.hu

bufoigtitk@orfk.police.hu

Web

http://www.bszki.hu

http://www.police.hu

DESIGNATED AUTHORITIES

 

National Police Headquarters

National Tax and Customs Administration
Directorate for Criminal Affairs

Counter Terrorism Centre

Address

H-1139 Budapest, Teve utca
4-6.

H-1122 Budapest Hajnóczy utca 7-9.

H-1101 Budapest, Zách utca 4.

Postal address

H-1903 Budapest, Pf. 314.

H-1525 Budapest, Pf. 52.

H-1903 Budapest, Pf. 314.

Telephone

+36-1-443-5500

+36-1-4568-110

+36-1-265-6200

Fax

+36-1-443-5733

+36-1-4568-148

+36-1-265-6209

E-mail

orfkvezeto@orfk.police.hu

bfoig @nav.gov.hu
bun.elnokh@nav.gov.hu

tek@tek.gov.hu

Web

http://www.police.hu

http://en.nav.gov.hu/

http://tek.gov.hu

Rights of the data subject

Data subjects have the right to be informed on the identity of the data controller; on the purpose of the data processing; on who and for which purpose can access to their data; on how the right to information and to erasure and correction of data can be exercised. The information shall be provided for asylum applicants and for persons apprehended in connection with the irregular crossing of an external border at the time of fingerprinting and for persons found illegally staying in the territory of the Member State at the time of data transmission. For minors the information shall be provided in an age-appropriate manner. The common leaflets drawn up by the European Commission and completed with additional Member State-specific information by the Member States shall be used for providing adequate information on the procedure of taking fingerprints for the data subjects.  

Every Member State is responsible for the processed and transmitted data and their quality and has to ensure that data processing comply with the relevant EU and national legislation.

If the authorities detect incorrect (e.g. false, inaccurate) data upon notification or ex officio, they shall take immediate action to correct the data while simultaneously informing the data subject. If during the proceeding initiated upon request the authority refuses to fulfil the request, the authority is obliged to inform the data subject about the reason for denial.

According to EU and Hungarian data protection provisions data subjects have the right to

  • access Eurodac-stored information related to the person

  • request that inaccurate or false data is corrected  

  • request the removal of its unlawfully processed data

  • turn to the courts or another competent authority to request the correction or removal of inaccurate data or petition for compensatory damages


The request has to be lodged to the authority that carries/carried out the asylum or aliens policing procedure. (See: http://www.bmbah.hu and  lt http://www.police.hu; Information can also be requested from the Central Office of the Immigration and Asylum Office and the General  Directorate of Law Enforcement of the National Police Headquarters.)



 

Immigration and Asylum Office

National Police Headquarters
Directorate for Criminal Affairs

Address

H-1117 Budapest, Budafoki út 60.

H-1139 Budapest, Teve utca 4-6.

Postal address

H-1903 Budapest, Pf. 314.

H-1903 Budapest, Pf. 314/15.

Telephone

+36-1-463-9100

+36-1-443-5553

Fax

+36-1-463-9169

+36-1-443-5733

E-mail

migracio@bah.b-m.hu

rendfoig@orfk.police.hu

Web

http://www.bmbah.hu

http://www.police.hu

The authority has the right to refuse requests but it is obliged to inform the person about the fact of and the reason for denial. Should you find that the authority is not adequately responsive to your request, you then may turn to the Hungarian National Authority for Data Protection and Freedom of Information.

Any person who, or Member State which, has suffered damage as a result of an unlawful processing operation or any act incompatible with the Eurodac Regulation is entitled to receive compensation from the Member State responsible for the damage suffered, except if that Member State proves that it is not responsible for the event giving rise to the damage.

Expected changes of the Eurodac system

  • The recent migration crisis conceived the need to establish a new system which can operate in crisis situations as well. In 2016 the European Commission put together a package of proposals to amend the Common European Asylum System and to reform the Eurodac system:


  • Data relating to persons found illegally staying in a Member State would be stored as well. (Currently this data can only be compared with the data of asylum applicants stored in the system.)


  • Beside of the fingerprints facial image as additional biometric identifier would be recorded and stored (long-term goal is the introduction of a facial recognition software), and the refusal of providing facial image or fingerprints would be sanctioned.


  • Beside of the fingerprints personal data of the data subject such as the name(s), age, date of birth, nationality, other identity data and identity documents) would be stored in the system, and these data would be accessible in case of positive fingerprint or facial image result (“hit”).


  • The age for taking fingerprints would be lowered from 14 to 6 years of age in order to identify unaccompanied minors and finding the families of children as soon as possible.


  • The data retention period of asylum applicants remains the same at 10 years, but fingerprint data for illegally staying third-country nationals who do not claim asylum would be retained for 5 years (similar to the data retention period of the Visa Information System and the proposed data retention period for storing data in the to-be-established Entry/Exit System). Data would no longer be deleted for subjects who were granted a residence document by a Member State (in this case their data will be marked, so it may than be possible to pass back the person concerned to the Member State that issued the residence document) or left the territory of the Member States.


  • Marked data of subjects who were granted international protection would be accessible for law enforcement purposes for a period of three years (there is no change), but this time limit would not be applicable in case of illegally staying persons who were granted a residence document by a Member State. For return purposes, the proposal amends the rules on sharing data with third countries, but it does not grant direct access for these third countries.



The reform of the Common European Asylum System is in progress, developments are expected in 2017 in this regard.


18 January 2017

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