The need for a global consideration of the human rights implications of biometrics
- Parliamentary Assembly
- Text adopted by the
Standing Committee, acting on behalf of the Assembly, on 11 March
2011 (see Doc. 12522, report
of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, rapporteur:
Mr Haibach; and Doc.
12528, opinion of the Committee on Culture, Science and
Education, rapporteur: Ms Brasseur).
1. The Parliamentary Assembly notes
that the Council of Europe has already demonstrated its commitment to
the protection of human rights in relation to data protection, in
particular by adopting the Convention for the Protection of Individuals
with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data (ETS No. 108)
and through the work of its consultative committee. The Assembly
also notes in this context the importance of the Convention for
the Protection of Human Rights and Dignity of the Human Being with
regard to the Application of Biology and Medicine: Convention on
Human Rights and Biomedicine (“Oviedo Convention”, ETS No. 164).
The Council of Europe is therefore well placed to promote the adoption
at the European level of rules on the use of biometrics.
Referring to its Resolution 1797 (2011), the Assembly invites
the Committee of Ministers to:
the Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to
Automatic Processing of Personal Data in order to adapt it to the
challenges brought about by the development of new technologies,
including biometric technologies, in particular by developing a
definition of “biometric data”;
2.2 prepare guidelines for member states on legislative frameworks
that would strike a fair balance between the interests of the parties
concerned, including those of security and privacy;
2.3 continue to observe the development of biometric technology
and its possible impact on the rights and freedoms enshrined in
the European Convention on Human Rights (ETS No. 5) and other Council of
Europe instruments on human rights protection.
3. The Assembly also recommends that the Committee of Ministers
develop its co-operation with the United Nations, the Organisation
for Economic Co-operation and Development and the European Union,
with a view to comparing the existing regulations on biometrics
and promoting coherent guidelines concerning their use, and invites
non-member states and the European Union to become parties to the
Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic
Processing of Personal Data and to the Oviedo Convention.