Machine translations by Deepl

Webwereld, 18 Feb 2014: 'Hague court shoots down fingerprint database'

Invasion of privacy by central storage not justified. Does this have implications for other government database ambitions?

Privacy First wins a resounding victory at the Court of Appeal of The Hague, which ruled unequivocally that central storage of fingerprints is unacceptable. The ruling does not have many practical consequences, as the government had already put central storage on hold (under pressure).

The central database would be used to match fingerprints in the investigation process, but this proved extremely error-prone. Earlier, there was an error rate as high as 21 per cent.

Big data government to curb

"This cannot mean otherwise than that the storage of fingerprints in a central register is not suitable for the purpose initially intended by it, namely verification and identification, and therefore also not suitable for preventing identity fraud, either when applying for a new travel document or when using the travel document, one of the main purposes of the law," the Court said.

The conclusion: "The invasion of privacy formed by the central storage of fingerprints is not justified."

So, despite the fingerprint database having been cancelled some time ago, the ruling may well affect governments' collection frenzy with other privacy-sensitive data, such as photographs. Christiaan Alberdingk Thijm, lawyer for Privacy First: "This rides roughshod over other government plans with central databases."

EU court also shot down database

Last October, the European Court already ruled that there is no legal basis for the inclusion of fingerprints (taken for inclusion in passports) in databases. In addition, fingerprints provided by citizens may not be used for Justice Department investigations into crime."

Source:, 18 February 2014.