Data discrimination & algorithmic bias at the “Digital Fortress Europe”: an in-depth human rights analysis of racialization and gendering of asylum seekers from the Global South in the large-scale EU-biometric database Eurodac

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Andersen, Thea Sofie
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Digital technologies are changing the ways human rights are interfered and violated around the world and can be used to reinforce and reproduce racialized and gendered injustices and inequalities. Concerns has especially been raised on the impact of unregulated and exploitative digital technologies used to extract sensitive personal data from asylum seekers from the Global South by actors in the Global North. The European Union (EU) has been at the forefront in the development of digital technologies powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and is a strong proponent of digital solutions to “manage” migration. Thus, this has resulted in digital tools being involved in almost all aspects and processes in the current management of migration and asylum. While the past human rights implications of the “Fortress Europe” have been widely scrutinized and criticized, future ones, spurred on by the digital innovations and tools in the “Digital Fortress Europe”, needs to be examined. Although various systems and regulations are in place to protect asylum seekers when it comes to digital practices, for instance the ones governed through the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (CFR) and the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), several weaknesses in the human rights protection of asylum seekers have been pointed out especially relating to this groups right to privacy, data protection, equality and non-discrimination. This thesis, therefore, aims to investigate the human rights implications and risks in the EU’s digital migration and border practices. Focus will be on the large-scale biometric database Eurodac, which has become one of the most important digital solutions in the current EU migration and asylum system. This database have received several concerns on its increased convergence between migration and terrorism, and its impact on asylum seekers. The proposed regulation of Eurodac has especially been worrisome regarding the seemingly weak protection of asylum seekers right to privacy, data protection as well equality and non-discrimination.
Second semester University: Panteion University, Athens
technological innovations, asylum seekers, European Union, data protection, discrimination, equality, right to privacy, migrations