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Support of communication and cooperation in the asylum process with the help of blockchain: A feasibility study by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees
Fridgen, Gilbert; Guggenmos, Florian; Lockl, Jannik et al.


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Keywords :
blockchain; Privacy; \ "O public administration; asylum; refugee crisis
Abstract :
[en] Digital technologies are changing our society in many ways. In addition to significant increases in productivity and new forms of value creation, the rapid digital change also brings with it a multitude of political and social challenges. While the digitization of the public sector in Germany is still facing challenges, other countries are already further. For example, Estonia has already largely digitized its administration. The federal government would also like to advance Germany with a targeted digitization strategy and strengthen public administration through the use of digital technologies. One of the focus technologies in this context is blockchain. Blockchain is a decentralized data structure, in which data in cryptographically linked blocks can be stored invariably and traceably. The essential concept of blockchain technology is to manage the data to be stored through a subscriber network instead of a central instance. In addition, new blockchain technologies make it possible to automate parts of the cross-agency process management. Due to its properties, blockchain technology offers a good opportunity for coordination in federal structures, as required by the German asylum process. In addition to one body primarily responsible, the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, other authorities at both federal and state level are involved in the asylum process. For example, initial reception centers and immigration authorities are subordinate to the respective federal states or part of the local government. This results in a large number of process variants, heterogeneous IT infrastructures and an incomplete digital exchange of information. A cross-agency data source already exists in the form of the Central Register of Foreigners (AZR). The AZR contains a large amount of data that may be recorded and stored by the authorized authorities in accordance with applicable law (especially AZRG). In addition, there is a need for IT-based support for cross-agency communication and cooperation. The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees has now evaluated to what extent blockchain can contribute to overcoming these challenges and promote the establishment of digital identities in the asylum context as well as cross-agency communication and cooperation. A proof-of-concept project that the Federal Office carried out in the first half of 2018 serves as an essential reference point. The project began with the selection of the use case ("simplified asylum process") and a pre-evaluation of the suitability of the blockchain technology. After a positive pre-evaluation, a suitable system was developed by a mixed team from the Federal Office, the Fraunhofer FIT Business Informatics project group and a technology partner. The project was then evaluated according to a blockchain-specific evaluation framework. In addition to technical and professional aspects, the focus here was in particular on issues relating to data protection law. The proof-of-concept project has shown that the use of blockchain technology could support cross-agency communication and cooperation in the asylum process. In addition, blockchain could lay an important foundation for the establishment of digital identities and make the process flow of an asylum seeker traceable on the basis of such an identity. It is true that it has not yet been possible to fully implement all applicable data protection regulations in the developed proof-of-concept. However, the knowledge gained in the course of the project forms a promising basis for the development of a data protection-compliant blockchain-based solution for the asylum process. In addition, due to the federal structure taken into account, the developed concept could also be scaled beyond Germany's borders. A blockchain-based, transnational management of asylum processes could thus become a joint project of the European member states to strengthen cooperation while preserving federal structures. Blockchain technology could thus be the beginning of digital federalism in Europe (also in the asylum area).
Disciplines :
Computer science
Author, co-author :
Fridgen, Gilbert  ;  University of Luxembourg > Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust (SNT)
Guggenmos, Florian
Lockl, Jannik
Rieger, Alexander  
Urbach, Nils
Language :
Title :
Support of communication and cooperation in the asylum process with the help of blockchain: A feasibility study by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees
Publication date :
Publisher :
Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, N \ "u rnberg, Unknown/unspecified
Available on ORBilu :
since 22 October 2020


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