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Idemia argues for modular airport biometrics approach to meet EU border rules

Idemia argues for modular airport biometrics approach to meet EU border rules

Idemia has published a position paper detailing five key recommendations for Europe’s planned biometric Entry Exit System (EES) in order for the new border processes to be efficient and well regulated. Idemia currently serves more than thirty border controls worldwide with innovative solutions designed to meet multiple border management requirements.

The aim of the EES is to enhance border security and management for the EU Schengen Area – made up of 26 countries. The EES is to be implemented by February 2022, whereby Third Country Nationals (TCNs) will be required to provide more information, including biometric data to verify identity.

Idemia suggests using biometric e-gates to help reduce the volume of genuine travelers that border guards have to process, as well as use of operational supervision tools, freeing more time to focus on cases which need special attention. Taking and holding biometric data should be conducted with NIST-approved supplier technology, the company suggests, to ensure data capture and checking is reliable. Systems should therefore also have the capability for presentation attack detection (spoof fingerprints, masks) via passive detection systems.

Idemia was chosen this year to implement a new biometric border control system in France and also selected by the EU to provide the shared biometric matching system (sBMS) to help with the identification needs of EES.

By leveraging Advanced Passenger Information (API) and Passenger Name Record (PNR) data, border authorities would have advanced insight before travelers arrive at a destination.

Idemia advises that a one-size-fits-all approach is redundant, as travelers have a wide range of circumstances, therefore borders should be prepared with various ranges of equipment, maintaining flexibility and adaptation.

The company’s Augmented Borders Solution was chosen last year by Iceland, along with the multi-biometric TravelKiosk EU-EES self-service kiosks. Several of Idemia’s products answer these recommendations, including the TravelCounter, a modular system that brings together a range of biometric capture devices, document inspection technologies and border control applications with customizable workflows and user interfaces, and optional features like body temperature screening.

TravelCounter is intended to support fast and secure passenger checking processes at manual (staffed) counters, presenting a composite view of traveler control data on a single screen. Idemia says it provides leading biometric algorithms, presentation attack detection (PAD) and risk assessments, is interoperable with various equipment and external applications, and can be easily connected to international systems and border ecosystems such as for EU-EES.

The system has been launched in Benin with MorphoWave contactless fingerprint biometric scanners to modernize passenger checks at Cotonou International Airport.

Finally, data security and privacy should be securely managed, advises the report, and transmitted at all levels in order not to compromise sensitive information. Last year, concerns about the privacy and security of biometric data prompted consultations between the European Commission and regional data protection authorities of which EU-wide laws are yet to be established.

Idemia remains in a good position to provide good-practice input on the establishment of the EES while implementing solutions to facilitate the process.

This post was updated at 3:14pm Eastern on April 7, 2021 with further details on TravelCounter.

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