Data protection and the pan-European exchange of criminal records

Jeremy Phillips

Two items with data protection relevance were posted on the website of the Official Journal of the European Union this morning. They are a matching pair:

* Council Framework Decision 2009/315/JHA of 26 February 2009 on the organisation and content of the exchange of information extracted from the criminal record between Member States (recital 13: “This Framework Decision establishes rules on the protection of personal data transmitted between the Member States as a result of its implementation. Existing general rules on the protection of personal data processed in the framework of police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters are complemented by the rules established in this Framework Decision. Furthermore, the Council of Europe Convention of 28 January 1981 for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data applies to the personal data handled on the basis of this Framework Decision. This Framework Decision also incorporates the provisions of Council Decision 2005/876/JHA of 21 November 2005 on the exchange of information extracted from the criminal record which limit the use the requesting Member State can make of information asked for. This Framework Decision supplements such provisions with specific rules applying where the Member State of the person’s nationality forwards information on convictions transmitted to it by the convicting Member State”.)

* Council Decision 2009/316/JHA of 6 April 2009 on the establishment of the European Criminal Records Information System (ECRIS) in application of Article 11 of Framework Decision 2009/315/JHA (above). According to recital 11, “The European Criminal Records System (ECRIS) is a decentralised information technology system. The criminal records data should be stored solely in databases operated by Member States, and there should be no direct online access to criminal records databases of other Member States. Member States should bear the responsibility for the operation of national criminal records databases and for the efficient exchanges of information between themselves. The common communication
infrastructure of ECRIS should be initially the Trans European Services for Telematics between Administrations (S-TESTA) network. All expenditure concerning the common communication infrastructure should be covered by the general budget of the European Union”.

See also earlier post here.
Datonomy’s favourite criminal records here and here

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