At first sight, the prevention of abuse of children, anti-social behaviour of children or migrants’ identity fraud or illegal entry are quite different objectives which require different professional skills and legislative background. Even the digital technologies introduced to boost the prevention of the above problems are quite different. However, this article, aims to show that the implications of the design and use of these systems cast quite similar ‘risk shadows’ on both children and migrants that can be conceived as an ‘identity trap’ risk. The aim of this article is therefore to look for similarities and acquire a better insight into the use and implications of digital tools within policy areas that focus on vulnerable groups in" our society such as children and migrants. A second aim is to explore how the legal framework, in particular the new European Union data protection regime soon to be formally adopted, can assist actors involved to remedy the negative implications on children and migrants’ positions, which stem from the use of preventative identity management systems. In addition, the article also pursues possibilities of guiding professionals in becoming reflexive about the detrimental implications of digital technologies and testing the normative potential of the legal framework regarding the vulnerable position of children and migrants. For finding ways in which professionals can become more reflexive about the potential negative implications of preventative identity management technologies is critical in order to create a context that is much more than merely law on the books.
- prevention, children, migrants, vulnerability, data protection, human rights, risks