DIGrenz: Digitalization within Asylum Procedures

Every year, several thousand asylum procedures are conducted in Austria. Because of the high number of cases, the procedures suffer from lacking quality and long durations, which has provoked critique by many parties.

The project ‘DIGrenz – Potentials and Borders of Digitalization within Asylum Procedures’ focuses on the question if and how asylum procedures can be improved through the use of digital technologies.

One of these technologies in question is the voice analysis tool ‘voice biometrics’, which is being used to assist in the determination of a person’s country of origin. However, using such measures raises important fundamental rights issues, as asylum procedures are highly sensitive. A wrong decision – with or without the use of digital measures – may be life-threatening for the person involved. Thus, the project analyses the potentials and disadvantages of digital technologies in asylum procedures from a legal perspective, focusing esp. on constitutional aspects.

The project ‘DIGrenz’ was chosen out of 32 projects as part of the call on ‘Unconventional Research, Opening up new areas for digital technologies’ and is part of the Field of Excellence ‘Smart Regulation which focuses, among others, on the regulation of technological innovations. ‘DIGrenz’ is led by Prof. Iris Eisenberger and Prof. Klaus Poier from the Institute of Public Law and Political Science.

From the Department Eisenberger, Nikolaus Poechhacker and Marla Meilinger are involved in the project.