This Office is also involved in
the coordinated supervision of Eurodac, which is an information system set up
for the purpose of identifying the Member State responsible for an asylum
application lodged within the European Union, and in order to speed up the
asylum procedure. The system enables the identification of asylum seekers and
persons who have illegally crossed an external border of the European Union.
The system allows Member States, through comparison of fingerprints, to verify
whether an asylum seeker or foreign national, found irregularly present within
the community has previously claimed asylum in another Member State. In this
manner, asylum shop around in other EU countries after having already been
rejected in one Member State can be avoided.
In accordance with the Eurodac Regulation, all asylum applicants over the age
of 14 should have their fingerprints taken when they request asylum. These
fingerprints are sent electronically to Eurodac’s Central Unit, hosted within
the European Commission. The system compares the fingerprints with those
already stored in the database, enabling the authorities to check if the
applicant had already submitted an asylum request in another Member State .
The Eurodac Supervision is carried out centrally, by the European Data
Protection Supervisor (EDPS), who is the competent authority to monitor the
Central Unit, while at the national level, the data protection authorities of
each participating state are responsible to oversee the collection, use and transmission
of data occurring in their country.
In the framework of coordinated
supervision, the European Data Protection Supervisor and Data Protection
Authorities meet at least twice a year to discuss common issues relating to the
supervision of the data processing in Eurodac.
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