The construction of new wire fences in South-Eastern Europe has been one of the most dramatic scenes of the so-called migration crisis. Yet migrants who seek protection, but also regular travelers who need a visa for the EU, are mostly controlled by data transfers and databases than physical obstacles.
The EURODAC database that includes the fingerprints of asylum seekers and “irregular migrants” is also critical to political confrontation between Northern and Southern European states, as the latter allegedly fail to enter the required information.
Therefore, it is critical to understand the precise operations of these technical systems and their impact on human rights, rights to data protection, data control as well as “solidarity” for migrants.
These databases are also the foundation of the wider trend towards “smart borders” that affect all our travel movements and subjection to electronic surveillance.