The mandatory collection of fingerprint images in the chip of German ID cards is valid, says Advocate General Medina who points out that the regulation facilitates the free movement of EU citizens within the Member States.

Advocate General Medina revisited the mandatory regulation from August 2021 and firstly ascertained whether the proper grounds for adopting the Regulation 2019/1157 was on the basis of Article 21(2) TFEU rather than Article 77(3) of the treaty.

A real application was made in November 2021 by a German citizen to leave out his fingerprint images on a new identity card.

The existing regulation was also cross-checked for compliance with data protection standards and the requirement to complete a data protection impact assessment under Article 35(10) of the General Data Protection Regulation 3.

Not only does the inclusion of biometrics hold more reliable and secure proof of the card holder’s identity but citizens enjoy the same freedoms they do as residents across other member states. Security of the cards also bolsters trust and therefore renders them more easily accepted by foreign authorities.

The Advocate General assessed whether the collection, storage and use of an image of two fingerprints was in breach of fundamental privacy and protection rights with regards to someone’s personal data.