EKRE Blocks Riigikogu’s Work on Personal Identification Database Bill | New

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EKRE opposes a bill that will allow the compilation of people’s biometric data into a personal identification database called ABIS.

“Our tactic to hinder the work of the Riigikogu is not only to take breaks and make speeches on a bill, but we also intend to block the whole agenda,” Helme told ERR.

“The maximum number of questions for all bills, the maximum number of votes on amendment proposals for all bills, the maximum number of pauses, the maximum number of speeches. And for other readings, each MP can speak for eight minutes. a few dozen bills on the agenda here. It will take some time, ”Helme said.

Helme started the delay tactic on Wednesday and the meeting will last until 10 a.m. Thursday morning and then continue over the weekend. The party also plans to use the tactic at the extraordinary meeting called this weekend.

“Our goal is that this great database bill does not pass in the spring session. And if they want to pass it, then let them call an extra session on Midsummer’s Day. , we are ready for that too, ”said the head of EKRE.

Helme said that in the case of ABIS, it is a collection of all other databases, which collect biometric data on the Estonian population, such as fingerprints.

“In reality, the content is grim. The content is the creation of a biometric database of all the inhabitants of Estonia. We are not sure that this database will not be accessible to foreign countries, the so-called allies. All the fingerprints and irises of the Estonian people, all of this will be collected and what will be done with this Big Brother database, we don’t have a good answer, “Helme said.

The bill processed by the Riigikogu will give the green light to compile the biometric data of citizens in a large database of information. According to Interior Ministry Kristian Jaani (Center), the goal is to use the data more efficiently, but accessing it will not be easier.

One of the goals of the featured Automatic Biometric Identification System, or ABIS, database is the ability to solve crimes faster.

Toomas Kivimägi (Reform), chairman of the Riigikogu’s constitutional commission, said Estonia should not be compared to totalitarian states. “Yes, we know how and how biometrics are used in China, for example. But Estonia is a democratic republic and no one has a similar plan, it’s all about ensuring security,” a- he declared.

Kivimägi added that the project of the same system was already discussed in the previous government by former Interior Minister Mart Helme (EKRE).

“This is the same bill that Mr Mart Helme actually signed for the coordination cycle when he was Home Secretary in October 2020. Exactly the same bill. And this bill received the ‘approval of all ministries while they (EKRE – ed.) were in government, ”he said.

Home Secretary Kristian Jaani said it was wrong to say that aggregating data would create a so-called super database, as Martin Helme said on Wednesday.

“That will not happen. In the future, with the help of ABIS, we will be able to keep the biometrics [finger and face images] and biographical [name, date of birth, personal identification code, citizenship, etc.] data separated from each other. This is how people’s data is better protected, ”he said.

The minister said the statement that separate biometric data, such as DNA, is collected from people for the database is also false. “No new data is collected separately for ABIS. It is also not true that DNA or eye images are collected in ABIS,” he said.

Jaani also confirmed that Estonian ABIS data will not be sold to other countries.

“Estonia does not sell its personal data to anyone. Secondly, Estonia is already exchanging data with 19 member states to catch cross-border criminals. We also cooperate to prevent terrorism and illegal immigration. Third, we only cooperate ‘with the authors,’ he explained.

Jaani said that money has been allocated for the development of ABIS, 14.7 million euros already in 2017, and much of it has already been used or is in use.

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