Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, has begun collecting personal data of persons suspected of people smuggling, terrorism and other cross-border crimes collected as part of its operation in Greece.

The data collection will take place as part of the operational project PeDRA (Processing Personal Data for Risk Analysis), which contributes to the fight against cross-border crime by ensuring that information containing personal data is effectively managed and reported from the operational area to the national and EU levels. At Frontex, the data is used for risk analysis in accordance with data protection principles, and is also transmitted on a daily basis to Europol to support investigations in other countries.

PeDRA was launched in Italy in February 2016 and was later introduced in Spain. It represents a significant milestone for the EU’s fight against facilitated irregular migration and other cross-border crimes because it demonstrates that Frontex joint operations can be used as an effective platform for the collection and subsequent analysis of personal data of suspected criminals at the EU level.

More than 2,000 reports have been collected across the operational areas as part of PeDRA, generating more than 1,400 descriptions of individuals suspected of involvement in cross border-crimes such as facilitation of irregular migration. Risk analysis of this data has shed light on the activities of criminal networks and have provided Europol with new areas for investigation.