FOR THE PAST 15 years, police forces searching for criminals in Europe have been able to share fingerprints, DNA data, and details of vehicle owners with each other. If officials in France suspect someone they are looking for is in Spain, they can ask Spanish authorities to check fingerprints against their database. Now European lawmakers are set to include millions of photos of people’s faces in this system and allow facial recognition to be used on an unprecedented scale.
The proposals from the European Commission also say police will have greater “automated” access to information that’s shared. Lawmakers say this means police across Europe will be able to cooperate closely, and the European law enforcement agency Europol will have a “stronger role.”