EU states slow in implementing interoperability initiative for police biometric checks

A report by Statewatch reviewing the status of the EU interoperability initiative has found that states have been slow in changing national laws to ease biometric identity checks by the police. Article 20 of the interoperability rules, envisaged that  police would be able to use the Common Identity Repository (CIR, a huge, centralised biometric database able to hold up to 300 million records on non-EU nationals) for identity checks in the street, provided they have the technical means and legal basis. An EU document on the status of this provision shows that less than half of the states participating in the initiative have assessed their laws, ahead of a 2023 deadline. CIR is part of a larger interoperability framework that includes an entry-exit system under the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS).