Guidelines 03/2019 on processing of personal data through video devices
Section 5.2 Suggested measures to minimize the risks when processing biometric data
87. In compliance with the data minimization principle, data controllers must ensure that data extracted from a digital image to build a template will not be excessive and will only contain the information required for the specified purpose, thereby avoiding any possible further processing. Measures should be put in place to guarantee that templates cannot be transferred across biometric systems.
88. Identification and authentication/verification are likely to require the storage of the template for use in a later comparison. The data controller must consider the most appropriate location for storage of the data. In an environment under control (delimited hallways or checkpoints), templates shall be stored on an individual device kept by the user and under his or her sole control (in a smartphone or the id card) or – when needed for specific purposes and in presence of objective needs – stored in a centralized database in an encrypted form with a key/secret solely in the hands of the person to prevent unauthorised access to the template or storage location. If the data controller cannot avoid having access to the templates, he must take appropriate steps to ensure the security of the data stored. This may include encrypting the template using a cryptographic algorithm.
89. In any case, the controller shall take all necessary precautions to preserve the availability, integrity and confidentiality of the data processed. To this end, the controller shall notably take the following measures: compartmentalize data during transmission and storage, store biometric templates and raw data or identity data on distinct databases, encrypt biometric data, notably biometric templates, and define a policy for encryption and key management, integrate an organisational and technical measure for fraud detection, associate an integrity code with the data (for example signature or hash) and prohibit any external access to the biometric data. Such measures will need to evolve with the advancement of technologies.
90. Besides, data controllers should proceed to the deletion of raw data (face images, speech signals, the gait, etc.) and ensure the effectiveness of this deletion. If there is no longer a lawful basis for the processing, the raw data has to be deleted. Indeed, insofar as biometric templates derives from such data, one can consider that the constitution of databases could represent an equal if not even bigger threat (because it may not always be easy to read a biometric template without the knowledge of how it was programmed, whereas raw data will be the building blocks of any template). In case the data controller would need to keep such data, noise-additive methods (such as watermarking) must be explored, which would render the creation of the template ineffective. The controller must also delete biometric data and templates in the event of unauthorized access to the read-comparison terminal or storage server and delete any data not useful for further processing at the end of the biometric device’s life.