June 8, 2016 -
The Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service and its union held a conference last week under the theme “Europe and the refugees – risks and opportunities” to debate the migrant crisis and to understand how prepared the country is to effectively answer challenges.
The conference took place in Lisbon and was attended by the highest-ranking authorities of the Portuguese Government and of National Border Control, and sponsor Vision-Box, a close partner of the Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service (SEF).
SEF has been involved in the most relevant discussions about the current refugee situation in Europe and is in the process of coordinating experts to define new strategies to address the demanding challenges, together with Vision-Box. Portugal was one of the first countries in Europe to introduce automated border control (ABC) technology following the implementation of the electronic passport.
Vision-Box’s RAPID system was launched in 2007 and was the first ABC system in the world to recognize travelers using face biometrics. The subsequent nationwide rollout of a state-of-the-art integrated ABC solution, also by Vision-Box, included over 100 ABC eGates at 7 international airports in Portuguese mainland and Azores and Madeira islands, to become the first large-scale automated borders program worldwide.
Vision-Box presented their approach to the current challenges based on its deep understanding of border issues worldwide.
Head of Marketing Pedro Torres represented Vision-Box on the discussion panel: “Portugal, border of the EU: does SEF have the operational conditions to guarantee the safety of national borders?” and said that “SEF has one of the most advanced platforms in the world to fight against growing challenges such as illegal immigration, identity fraud, smuggling, trafficking and others.
“The integrated border control solution based on self-service biometric technology, which is under continuous improvement, has completely revolutionized the way borders are managed today, and there are still important developments to be pursued, especially when it comes to integrated data management and exchange, cross-stakeholder collaboration, anticipation of risk and big data analytics, some of the key areas where Vision-Box has leading edge technology. And we’re working on it with SEF and other organizations in Europe to keep our borders safe.”
According to a statement by the company, Vision-Box has been working on it together with association such as IATA, Frontex, eu-LISA, ICAO among others to define harmonized guidelines and legal frameworks to create sustainability at borders. Instead of deploying incremental updates on traditional processes which fail on a medium-term basis to actually improve border management, the company suggests the creation of a sustainable entry and exit system, supported by the personal data envelope concept, created for each traveler and migrant entering a EU country, and which virtualizes biographic and biometric data as well as travel details and relevant interactions with authorities and the Orchestra platform.
The Orchestra platform is designed for airports, airlines and governments’ managed services, integrating real-time passenger flow management, security and privacy infrastructure and actionable intelligence through effective data analytics capability. The objective is to identify suspects, help apprehend irregular and illegal immigrants, especially over stayers, deter illegal immigration, prevent terrorism and tackle other serious criminal activities.