French privacy watchdog takes action on government fingerprint database issues
The National Commission for Information Technology and Civil Liberties (CNIL) has decided to call the Ministry of the Interior to order after observing several failures in the proper maintenance of the automated fingerprint file (FAED).
The privacy watchdog has issued a series of injunctions to the ministry to bring data protection and privacy compliance to FAED. Issues identified by the authorities include apparent illegal storage of data, poor file management, and a lack of information provided to persons whose data is kept on the system.
The Automated Fingerprint File, or FAED, was created in 1987 and collected the fingerprints and palm prints of people implicated in investigations. It also amassed data relating to their civil status. More than 6.2 million people are included in the database, according to a parliamentary report from 2018.
In a decision published on Thursday (30 September), the CNIL criticised the Ministry of the Interior for keeping data not provided for by the legislation. This included the names of victims, license plate numbers of suspects, and the data of people who were no longer considered suspects.