Automated suspicion : The EU’s new travel surveillance initiatives

/automated-suspicion-the-eu-s-new-travel

  • EU : One step closer to the establishment of the ’#permission-to-travel' scheme

    The Council and Parliament have reached provisional agreement on rules governing how the forthcoming #European_Travel_Information_and_Authorisation System (#ETIAS) will ’talk’ to other migration and policing databases, with the purpose of conducting automated searches on would-be travellers to the EU.

    The ETIAS will mirror systems such as the #ESTA scheme in the USA, and will require that citizens of countries who do not need a #visa to travel to the EU instead apply for a “travel authorisation”.

    As with visas, travel companies will be required to check an individual’s travel authorisation before they board a plane, coach or train, effectively creating a new ’permission-to-travel’ scheme.

    The ETIAS also includes a controversial #profiling and ’watchlist’ system, an aspect not mentioned in the Council’s press release (full-text below).

    The rules on which the Council and Parliament have reached provisional agreement - and which will thus almost certainly be the final text of the legislation - concern how and when the ETIAS can ’talk’ to other EU databases such as #Eurodac (asylum applications), the #Visa_Information_System, or the #Schengen_Information_System.

    Applicants will also be checked against #Europol and #Interpol databases.

    As the press release notes, the ETIAS will also serve as one of the key components of the “interoperability” scheme, which will interconnect numerous EU databases and lead to the creation of a new, biometric ’#Common_Identity_Repository' on up to 300 million non-EU nationals.

    You can find out more about the ETIAS, related changes to the Visa Information System, and the interoperability plans in the Statewatch report Automated Suspicion: https://www.statewatch.org/automated-suspicion-the-eu-s-new-travel-surveillance-initiatives

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    The text below is a press release published by the Council of the EU on 18 March 2020: https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2021/03/18/european-travel-information-and-authorisation-system-etias-council-

    European travel information and authorisation system (ETIAS): Council Presidency and European Parliament provisionally agree on rules for accessing relevant databases

    The Council presidency and European Parliament representatives today reached a provisional agreement on the rules connecting the ETIAS central system to the relevant EU databases. The agreed texts will next be submitted to the relevant bodies of the Council and the Parliament for political endorsement and, following this, for their formal adoption.

    The adoption of these rules will be the final legislative step required for the setting up of ETIAS, which is expected to be operational by 2022.

    The introduction of ETIAS aims to improve internal security, prevent illegal immigration, protect public health and reduce delays at the borders by identifying persons who may pose a risk in one of these areas before they arrive at the external borders. ETIAS is also a building bloc of the interoperability between JHA databases, an important political objective of the EU in this area, which is foreseen to be operational by the end of 2023.

    The provisionally agreed rules will allow the ETIAS central system to perform checks against the Schengen Information System (SIS), the Visa Information System (VIS), the Entry/Exit System (EES), Eurodac and the database on criminal records of third country nationals (ECRIS-TCN), as well as on Europol and Interpol data.

    They allow for the connection of the ETIAS central system to these databases and set out the data to be accessed for ETIAS purposes, as well as the conditions and access rights for the ETIAS central unit and the ETIAS national units. Access to the relevant data in these systems will allow authorities to assess the security or immigration risk of applicants and decide whether to issue or refuse a travel authorisation.
    Background

    ETIAS is the new EU travel information and authorisation system. It will apply to visa-exempt third country nationals, who will need to obtain a travel authorisation before their trip, via an online application.

    The information submitted in each application will be automatically processed against EU and relevant Interpol databases to determine whether there are grounds to refuse a travel authorisation. If no hits or elements requiring further analysis are identified, the travel authorisation will be issued automatically and quickly. This is expected to be the case for most applications. If there is a hit or an element requiring analysis, the application will be handled manually by the competent authorities.

    A travel authorisation will be valid for three years or until the end of validity of the travel document registered during application, whichever comes first. For each application, the applicant will be required to pay a travel authorisation fee of 7 euros.

    https://www.statewatch.org/news/2021/march/eu-one-step-closer-to-the-establishment-of-the-permission-to-travel-sche

    #interopérabilité #base_de_données #database #données_personnelles #migrations #mobilité #autorisations #visas #compagnies_de_voyage #VIS #SIS #EU #UE #union_européenne #biométrie

    ping @etraces @isskein @karine4

    • L’UE précise son futur système de contrôle des voyageurs exemptés de visas

      Les modalités du futur système de #contrôle_préalable, auquel devront se soumettre d’ici fin 2022 les ressortissants de pays tiers pouvant se rendre dans l’Union #sans_visa, a fait l’objet d’un #accord annoncé vendredi par l’exécutif européen.

      Ce dispositif, baptisé ETIAS et inspiré du système utilisé par les Etats-Unis, concernera les ressortissants de plus de 60 pays qui sont exemptés de visas pour leurs courts séjours dans l’Union, comme les ressortissants des Etats-Unis, du Brésil, ou encore de l’Albanie et des Emirats arabes unis.

      Ce système dit « d’information et d’autorisation », qui vise à repérer avant leur entrée dans l’#espace_Schengen des personnes jugées à #risques, doit permettre un contrôle de sécurité avant leur départ via une demande d’autorisation sur internet.

      Dans le cadre de l’ETIAS, les demandes en ligne coûteront 7 euros et chaque autorisation sera valable trois ans pour des entrées multiples, a indiqué un porte-parole de la Commission.

      Selon les prévisions, « probablement plus de 95% » des demandes « donneront lieu à une #autorisation_automatique », a-t-il ajouté.

      Le Parlement européen avait adopté dès juillet 2018 une législation établissant le système ETIAS, mais dans les négociations pour finaliser ses modalités opérationnelles, les eurodéputés réclamaient des garde-fous, en le rendant interopérable avec les autres systèmes d’information de l’UE.

      Eurodéputés et représentants des Etats, de concert avec la Commission, ont approuvé jeudi des modifications qui permettront la consultation de différentes #bases_de_données, dont celles d’#Europol et d’#Interpol, pour identifier les « menaces sécuritaires potentielles, dangers de migration illégale ou risques épidémiologiques élevés ».

      Il contribuera ainsi à « la mise en oeuvre du nouveau Pacte (européen) sur la migration et l’asile », a estimé le porte-parole.

      « Nous devons savoir qui franchit nos #frontières_extérieures. (ETIAS) fournira des #informations_préalables sur les voyageurs avant qu’ils n’atteignent les frontières de l’UE afin d’identifier les risques en matière de #sécurité ou de #santé », a souligné Ylva Johansson, commissaire aux affaires intérieures, citée dans un communiqué.

      Hors restrictions dues à la pandémie, « au moins 30 millions de voyageurs se rendent chaque année dans l’UE sans visa, et on ne sait pas grand chose à leur sujet. L’ETIAS comblera cette lacune, car il exigera un "#background_check" », selon l’eurodéputé Jeroen Lenaers (PPE, droite pro-UE), rapporteur du texte.

      L’accord doit recevoir un ultime feu vert du Parlement et des Vingt-Sept pour permettre au système d’entrer en vigueur.

      https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/fil-dactualites/190321/l-ue-precise-son-futur-systeme-de-controle-des-voyageurs-exemptes-de-visas
      #smart_borders #frontières_intelligentes

  • Automated suspicion: The EU’s new travel surveillance initiatives

    This report examines how the EU is using new technologies to screen, profile and risk-assess travellers to the Schengen area, and the risks this poses to civil liberties and fundamental rights.

    By developing ‘interoperable’ biometric databases, introducing untested profiling tools, and using new ‘pre-crime’ watchlists, people visiting the EU from all over the world are being placed under a veil of suspicion in the name of enhancing security.

    Watch the animation below for an overview of the report. A laid-out version will be available shortly. You can read the press release here: https://www.statewatch.org/news/2020/july/eu-to-deploy-controversial-technologies-on-holidaymakers-and-business-tr

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    Executive summary

    The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has raised the possibility of widespread surveillance and location tracking for the purpose of disease control, setting alarm bells ringing amongst privacy advocates and civil rights campaigners. However, EU institutions and governments have long been set on the path of more intensive personal data processing for the purpose of migration control, and these developments have in some cases passed almost entirely under the radar of the press and civil society organisations.

    This report examines, explains and critiques a number of large-scale EU information systems currently being planned or built that will significantly extend the collection and use of biometric and biographic data taken from visitors to the Schengen area, made up of 26 EU member states as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. In particular, it examines new systems being introduced to track, analyse and assess the potential security, immigration or public health risks posed by non-EU citizens who have to apply for either a short-stay visa or a travel authorisation – primarily the #Visa_Information_System (#VIS), which is being upgraded, and the #European_Travel_Information_and_Authorisation_System (#ETIAS), which is currently under construction.

    The visa obligation has existed for years. The forthcoming travel authorisation obligation, which will cover citizens of non-EU states who do not require a visa, is new and will massively expand the amount of data the EU holds on non-citizens. It is the EU’s equivalent of the USA’s ESTA, Canada’s eTA and Australia’s ETA.[1] These schemes represent a form of “government permission to travel,” to borrow the words of Edward Hasbrouck,[2] and they rely on the extensive processing of personal data.

    Data will be gathered on travellers themselves as well as their families, education, occupation and criminal convictions. Fingerprints and photographs will be taken from all travellers, including from millions of children from the age of six onwards. This data will not just be used to assess an individual’s application, but to feed data mining and profiling algorithms. It will be stored in large-scale databases accessible to hundreds of thousands of individuals working for hundreds of different public authorities.

    Much of this data will also be used to feed an enormous new database holding the ‘identity data’ – fingerprints, photographs, names, nationalities and travel document data – of non-EU citizens. This system, the #Common_Identity_Repository (#CIR), is being introduced as part of the EU’s complex ‘interoperability’ initiative and aims to facilitate an increase in police identity checks within the EU. It will only hold the data of non-EU citizens and, with only weak anti-discrimination safeguards in the legislation, raises the risk of further entrenching racial profiling in police work.

    The remote monitoring and control of travellers is also being extended through the VIS upgrade and the introduction of ETIAS. Travel companies are already obliged to check, prior to an individual boarding a plane, coach or train, whether they have the visa required to enter the Schengen area. This obligation will be extended to include travel authorisations, with travel companies able to use the central databases of the VIS and ETIAS to verify whether a person’s paperwork is in order or not. When people arrive at the Schengen border, when they are within the Schengen area and long after they leave, their personal data will remain stored in these systems and be available for a multitude of further uses.

    These new systems and tools have been presented by EU institutions as necessary to keep EU citizens safe. However, the idea that more personal data gathering will automatically lead to greater security is a highly questionable claim, given that the authorities already have problems dealing with the data they hold now.

    Furthermore, a key part of the ‘interoperability’ agenda is the cross-matching and combination of data on tens of millions of people from a host of different databases. Given that the EU’s databases are already-known to be strewn with errors, this massively increases the risks of mistakes in decision making in a policy field – immigration – that already involves a high degree of discretion and which has profound implications for peoples’ lives.

    These new systems have been presented by their proponents as almost-inevitable technological developments. This is a misleading idea which masks the political and ethical judgments that lie behind the introduction of any new technology. It would be fairer to say that EU lawmakers have chosen to introduce unproven, experimental technologies – in particular, automated profiling – for use on non-EU citizens, who have no choice in the matter and are likely to face difficulties in exercising their rights.

    Finally, the introduction of new databases designed to hold data on tens of millions of non-citizens rests on the idea that our public authorities can be trusted to comply with the rules and will not abuse the new troves of data to which they are being given access. Granting access to more data to more people inevitably increases the risk of individual abuses. Furthermore, the last decade has seen numerous states across the EU turn their back on fundamental rights and democratic standards, with migrants frequently used as scapegoats for society’s ills. In a climate of increased xenophobia and social hostility to foreigners, it is extremely dangerous to assert that intrusive data-gathering will counterbalance a supposed threat posed by non-citizens.

    Almost all the legislation governing these systems has now been put in place. What remains is for them to be upgraded or constructed and put into use. Close attention should be paid by lawmakers, journalists, civil society organisations and others to see exactly how this is done. If all non-citizens are to be treated as potential risks and assessed, analysed, monitored and tracked accordingly, it may not be long before citizens come under the same veil of suspicion.

    https://www.statewatch.org/automated-suspicion-the-eu-s-new-travel-surveillance-initiatives

    #vidéo:
    https://vimeo.com/437830786

    #suspects #suspicion #frontières #rapport #StateWatch #migrations #asile #réfugiés #EU #UE #Union_européenne
    #surveillance #profiling #database #base_de_données #données_personnelles #empreintes_digitales #enfants #agences_de_voyage #privatisation #interopérabilité

    ping @mobileborders @isskein @etraces @reka