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UK’s planned border control policy big on biometrics



The UK’s Conservative government is focusing efforts on introducing biometrics-based border control policy, writes Science Direct.

The system would be similar to what the U.S. and Canada have already introduced – an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETAs) received prior to the visit to the UK. The goal is to store biometric data such as fingerprints and retina scans on all ETAs for enhanced border security.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson made a strong commitment to take the UK out of the European Union, an event which will happen this month. Automatically, the UK will no longer follow the Union’s migration policy of ‘free movement,’ which, the government said, “made it easier for illicit goods such as drugs, guns and explosive precursors, as well as illegal immigrants and terrorists to enter the UK, as well as costing an estimated £5 billion (USD$6.5 billion) each year due to excise, customs and tariff evasion.”

The biometric-based system would screen arrivals and identify threats by cross-matching individuals with watchlists. The government wants to use automated entry and exit checks to prevent people with criminal convictions in EU countries from entering the U.K.

As a result, by introducing automated entry and exit checks and the requirement for biometric passports the government will “know who and how many people are in the country, and […] identify individuals who have breached the terms of their visa and restrict illegal immigration.”

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