A new European Union directive, which MPs will debate in the House of Commons on Tuesday, sets out a wide range of restrictions on the way law enforcement agencies keep "personal data" about suspects and convicted criminals.
The measures will give individuals new rights to challenge the information police keep on file about them, including their mugshot and genetic information such as DNA and fingerprints.
It even proposes banning police from keeping information about anyone's race or religion except where there are "appropriate safeguards".
Kenneth Clarke, the Justice Secretary, is overseeing Britain's response to the draft EU measures.
Although Britain has the ability to opt out of the moves, an early response from Mr Clarke's department has indicated the government broadly supports the proposals.
MPs warned the measures could become a "criminal's charter".
Dominic Raab, a Tory MP and former Foreign Office lawyer, said: "The last thing we need is the EU dispensing more privacy rights that criminals can exploit to trump public protection.
"This directive will sow legal confusion and add bureaucratic costs for police forces on the front line.
"Brussels should not be micromanaging how UK police operate, and Britain should resist this counterproductive measure."
He said he was concerned criminals would use the new rules to block police investigations and it would also have a "chilling effect" on police forces' willingness to publish mugshots of criminals.
There has been a series of cases in which police posters naming and shaming crooks have been challenged in the courts under human rights laws.
The draft rules, drawn up by the European Commission, run to 54 pages and set out how personal data should be handled by the police.
It will cover all data linked to a person's "physical, physiological, genetic, mental, economic, cultural or social identity".
Crucially, the document says countries should bar law enforcement agencies from collecting information about a person's race, religion or sexuality except in certain circumstances, such as where it is "authorised by a law providing appropriate safeguards".
This could make it more complex for police forces to record information about criminals from ethnic minorities, or open the way for spurious challenges against this kind of data being stored.
Mr Raab said: "This is a further legal can of worms that will get in the way of fighting crime."
Priti Patel, the Conservative MP for Witham, said: "Anything to do with Europe trying to grab a foothold into our policing and the way our police forces collect data is simply wrong, particularly when we are trying to devolve control over the police to local communities.
"This is a clear power grab from the Eurocrats and this Government should stop it."
A memo produced by Mr Clarke about the EU initiative warns that although the measures are designed to cover cross-border sharing of information about criminals it would also encompass data transferred from one British police force to another.
"We need to consider the impact of this on law enforcement agencies, in particular regarding the administrative burdens it places on them," it says.
"There is also a new right for data subjects to directly demand the erasure of their personal data by the data controller."
The document said officials were carrying out a detailed assessment of how much the new EU regulations would cost.
"The directive, if adopted as is, poses a number of financial implications," it said.
"We are examining the implications of these requirements further to determine how significant they would be."