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Transborder biometric information flow : legal challenges to personal privacy and the need for public debate

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thesis
posted on 2023-05-27, 13:40 authored by Diaz Rodriguez, V
This thesis is about the legal challenges posed by Transborder Biometric Information Flows (TBIF) and its impact on personal privacy and civil liberties in two contexts, immigration information flow and information flow in criminal databases. The thesis considers the role of national and international policy and regulation for TBIF in the contexts of immigration control and crime prevention. The examination of privacy and civil liberties is conducted within the framework of a comparative four countries study of Australia, Mexico, New Zealand and Spain. In comparison with the extensive international civil liberties literature, there is a significant absence of scholarly work on the legal impact of biometric technology, in general and on TBIF, in particular. Chapter 1 set the framework for the research. The thesis explores the historical background to biometrics, its typology and purposes (Chapter 2) with a focus on TBIF applications. Before analysing the legal challenges of TBIF, the thesis maps the key players in the biometrics industry and their products and practices and finds a lack of industry ethical codes of practices and a need to improve self-regulation (Chapter 3). The four countries study framework examines the operation of TBIF in two specific contexts of immigration information flow and information flow in criminal databases (Chapters 4 and 5). The four countries study also informs the analysis of the legal challenges to personal privacy and data protection and civil liberties generally posed by TBIF in the two contexts of immigration and information criminal databases, at both the national and international levels (Chapter 6). The thesis argues that all countries need to balance properly the public interests in national security with individuals' civil rights and liberties, when biometric systems are deployed and TBIF between and within jurisdictions are implemented. This balance, it is argued can be assessed and achieved with a due regard and reasoned approach to the application of the civil law proportionality and common law reasonableness tests (Chapter 7). This thesis concludes with proposals to achieve proper and proportionate levels of protection for TBIF and makes specific recommendations to amend privacy and data protection laws and reinforce existing privacy commissioner powers (Chapter 8).

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