Judgment of the Court of Justice of the EU in the case Schwarz (C-291/12)
On 17 October 2013, Jiří Malenovský, Judge at the Court of Justice of the EU, read the judgment in the case C-291/12 Schwarz on Area of Freedom, Security and Justice, at the Court of Justice of the EU, in Luxembourg.
Regulation No 2252/20041 provides that passports are to include a highly secure storage medium which must contain, besides a facial image, two fingerprints. Those fingerprints may be used only for verifying the authenticity of a passport and the identity of its holder. Mr Schwarz applied to the city of Bochum, Germany, for a passport but refused at that time to have his fingerprints taken. After the city rejected his application, Mr Schwarz brought an action before the Administrative Court, Gelsenkirchen, Germany, in which he requested that the city be ordered to issue him with a passport without taking his fingerprints. In that context, the Administrative Court seeks to establish whether the regulation is valid, particularly in light of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, in so far as it obliges any person applying for a passport to provide fingerprints and provides for those fingerprints to be stored in that passport. By today’s judgment, the Court of Justice answers that question in the affirmative. Including fingerprints in passports is lawful; although the taking and storing of fingerprints in passports constitutes an infringement of the rights to respect for private life and the protection of personal data, such measures are nonetheless justified for the purpose of preventing any fraudulent use of passports.
Luxembourg [town] - Court of Justice of the EU
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© European Union, 2013
/ Source: EC - Audiovisual Service
Director: Emmanuel Coundouris
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