EU Commission welcomes Prüm II agreement on automated data exchange for police cooperation
The European Commission has welcomed a political agreement reached by the European Parliament and the Council on the Regulation on automated data exchange for police cooperation (Prüm II), aiming to enhance enforcement tools to combat criminal offenses.
The European Commission has welcomed the agreement reached by the European Parliament and the European Council on the Regulation of automated data exchange for police cooperation (Prüm II). Essentially, this is a revision of the existing Prum Framework aiming to close information gaps and enhance the EU’s prevention, detection, and investigation of criminal offenses. The new rules include:
- The preservation of the existing automated exchange on DNA profiles, dactyloscopic data, and vehicle registration data,
- Allowing searches on vehicle registration data using the identity data of criminals.
- Starting automated data exchanges on facial images and police records.
- Establishing a central router to simplify the automated exchanges of biometric data.
- Establishing the European Police Records Index System (EPRIS) to allow for automated exchange of police records.
- Ensuring that after a confirmed match on biometric data via the exchange of identification data, there is a follow-up within 48 hours.
- Including Europol to the Prüm framework.
- Aligning exchanges under the Prüm framework to the data protection framework with strong safeguards.
Following the Commission’s approval of the political agreement, the European Parliament and the Council will now have to formally adopt the regulation.
Why does it matter?
Ever since the enforcement of the Prüm Framework, the European Council has been calling for expanding the framework to include facial recognition and the exchange of firearms and biographic data, among others. At the same time, digital rights organisations including EDRi, have raised privacy concerns, highlighting the risk of the rules being misused by European governments. MEPs of the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties Committee have also questioned the expansion of the framework in 2020, claiming that there is a risk of false positives, which could lead to unfair targeting of ethnic minorities.