Feeds

Asylum seeker fingerprint database has security flaws, says watchdog

Some searches 'carried out improperly'

3 Big data security analytics techniques

The European database of asylum seekers' fingerprints has security weaknesses, according to (pdf) Europe's privacy watchdog the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS).

Eurodac is a Europe-wide fingerprint database of applicants for asylum and illegal immigrants. The EDPS conducted a detailed security audit of the system to ensure that people's data was being properly treated. That audit found problems, the EDPS said.

"Some parts of the systems and the organizational security present some weaknesses which will have to be addressed in order for Eurodac to fully comply with best practices and the implementation of best available techniques."

The full report has not been released, but the EDPS did publish a summary of its findings. Many of them were positive, it said.

"The security measures initially implemented with respect to the Eurodac system and the way they have been maintained during these first four years of activity have provided a fair level of protection to date," it said.

"The EDPS will review the proper implementation of the follow-up measures which will be elaborated on the basis of the present report."

The Eurodac system is designed to help identify if an asylum seeker or illegal immigrant has already registered an application for asylum with an EU member state by comparing fingerprint records across Europe.

The system was inspected earlier this year by a supervision co-ordination group consisting of national data protection authorities and the EDPS. It found that some searches against fingerprint records had been carried out improperly.

"Eurodac authorities should develop written and formal procedures to ensure that access to Eurodac data is limited to the purposes of the Eurodac Regulation," said July's report. "In particular, request of CAT3 searches should be documented in such a way that they are used in strict compliance with the Eurodac Regulation."

Category 3 searches are "optional searches for third country nationals apprehended when illegally staying on the territory", according to a European Commission working paper.

This month's new security audit was separate to that and the EDPS said that it will ensure its recommendations are followed.

"The EDPS will review the proper implementation of the follow-up measures which will be elaborated on the basis of the present report," it said.

Copyright © 2007, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
Heartbleed exploit, inoculation, both released
File under 'this is going to hurt you more than it hurts me'
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.