PI just received a response from Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland of the Council of Europe (CoE) stating that the CoE is refusing to start an investigation on the collection and storage of citizens biometric data by member states. On 31 March an international alliance of organisations and individuals lodged a petition calling on him to start such an indepth survey under Article 52 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).
In his answer, received this week, Secretary General Jagland mainly points at the CoE Resolution 1797, adopted in March 2011. He does stress the need to take steps to ensure that relevant existing legal frameworks, including European dataprotection Convention 108, be enhanced and modernised. However, the Secretary General doesn’t explain his refusal to investigate the legality of the current national biometric schemes himself. Instead Mr. Jagland refers to various other Council of Europe bodies, such as the Parliamentary Assembly, the commissioner for Human Rights and the Consultative Committee of Convention 108.