On Wednesday 2 March, the Hellenic Data Protection Authority (DPA) launched an investigation into the Ministry of Immigration and Asylum regarding the supply and installation of the YPERION and KENTAYROS systems in reception and accommodation facilities for asylum seekers.

Specifically, following the successful submission of a request submitted on 18 February by the organisations (in alphabetical order) Hellenic League for Human Rights, HIAS Greece, and Homo Digitalis together with the Lecturer of Queen Mary University of London Dr. Niovi Vavoula before the President of the Hellenic DPA, the Authority addressed a communication to the Ministry of Immigration and Asylum inviting it to inform it immediately about:

– the specific legal basis for the processing of personal data in the context of the operation of YPERION and KENTAYROS systems; and

– the carrying out of an impact assessment study on the impact of the processing on the protection of personal data, taking into account that in the case of the procurement of surveillance and monitoring systems, the carrying out of an impact assessment regarding their operation must be carried out not only before their operation, but also before their procurement, in order to comply with the principles of data protection by design and by default.

As the DPA states, together with the request for investigation we had filed, they had also received a request for information from the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee (LIBE Committee) on the surveillance technologies generally used at our country’s borders.

We recall that the YPERION system will be the asylum seeker management system with regard to all the needs of the Reception and Identification Service and will be responsible for access control (entry – exit via security turnstiles), by showing an individual card of a migrant, NGO member, worker and simultaneous use of fingerprints), the monitoring of benefits per asylum seeker using an individual card (food, clothing supplies, etc.) and the movements between the centres, KIDNs and Accommodation Facilities. The KENTAYROS system will be the digital system for managing electronic and physical security around and inside the facilities, using cameras and Artificial Intelligence Behavioral Analytics algorithms.

You can read the relevant letter sent by the DPA to the Ministry of Immigration and Asylum here.
You can read more about the joint request for research filed in February here.