Using technology to protect security and privacy
EU Commissioner for Justice, Freedom and Security, Franco Frattini, has spoken of the need to use technology to protect European citizens, as well as to safeguard their privacy.
The Commission is already funding security research under the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) to the tune of nearly ?1.5 billion. The Preparatory Action on Security Research also helps with
the development of security policy in Europe, particularly on border security.
But the Commission is planning much more. In 2008 Mr Frattini will present a communication on how new technologies can be used for efficient border management, he announced. ‘There is a need to
identify ‘overstayers’, persons who entered the EU legally, but overstayed their welcome. The time is certainly ripe for thinking about how to replace manual stamping of passports with an
electronic system that generates automated alerts.’
Mr Frattini also pledged to investigate whether sector-specific legislation is needed to apply data protection principles to new technologies.
Many of the new technologies designed to ensure safety also risk undermining privacy, for example those using information and communication technologies (ICT). Further research is therefore
required to develop additional technologies to protect personal data and privacy.
‘People’s trust is twofold – our citizens entrust us with the task of protecting them against crime and terrorist attacks; however, at the same time, they entrust us with safeguarding their
fundamental rights. We cannot risk losing this trust,’ said Mr Frattini.
The Commissioner called for more involvement from all stakeholders. At present the various parties do not always communicate, or do not communicate sufficiently, he said. This must improve so
that everyone has a shared and clear view of European security research priorities, needs and limits, he said.
Research conducted by individual companies, governments or universities must not be carried out in isolation. And policy-makers should look to the results of security research when drafting new
policies, said the Commissioner.
‘Today’s problems require us to use dedicated technological solutions. We must develop these. We must be innovative,’ said Mr Frattini. ‘And we must always be a step ahead of criminals,
terrorists or those who try to undermine our privacy and security.’