Contactless corridor powered by face biometrics coming to UK immigration
The UK Home Office’s vague plan for “some form of contactless corridor or automated gates for identity and security checks” may be much more defined than the government’s announcement would suggest as, the New Statesman reports that face biometrics-powered contactless corridors of the type iProov powers for Eurostar are planned for implementation.
The biometric corridors would check the face biometrics of foreign travelers arriving in the UK against a photo submitted online beforehand. The plan unveiled by Home Office mentions contactless corridors only in the sentence quoted above, but also details plans for U.S.-style Electronic Travel Authorization.
iProov CEO Andrew Bud told the New Statesman his company has made “indirect” contributions to Home Office’s plans for airports.
“This news is extremely good because our work with Eurostar was about ensuring that people could pass through ticket checks and border exit checks in exactly the way that is described in the [Home Office’s] report,” Bud says.
“But there is actually a question of whether this fitted the strategy of the border force, and what we’re here seeing today is that it absolutely does fit the strategy of the border force, which is great news.”
Bud says the system works by collecting a “contemporary selfie” from the traveler, and emphasized the it does not change Home Office’s rules and responsibilities. The New Statesman notes that Home Office has breached rules it found inconvenient in the past, at least in the case of the department using data collected by the NHS for immigration enforcement in 2019 despite having been ordered to cease the practice.
Home Office selected iProov’s biometrics for its mobile apps in 2018.
The system would allow Home Office to track people entering and leaving the country in real-time, and could also give officials time to check travelers against EU law enforcement databases.