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Vision-Box launches Frontex biometric border pilot in Bulgaria

Explores the future of EU borders with partners


Vision-Box has officially unveiled its Frontex awarded trial aimed at implementing a new biometric Entry/Exit System (EES) pilot project at two land borders in Bulgaria.

The initiative officially went live earlier this month and was developed in collaboration with the Bulgarian Ministry of Interior and the Border Police.

In phase 1 of the pilot project, all individuals entering the country via coaches, cars, and on foot at Kapitan Andreevo border crossing point (BCP) from Turkey will be checked with Vision-Box’s Orchestra Identity & Border Management Platform.

Orchestra utilizes enrolment kiosks, a biometric corridor, and handheld tablets to gather individuals’ facial information, and later on to verify it for authentication purposes. The platform was certified for adherence to Privacy by Design principles in 2018.

Phase 2 will then follow, with travelers’ biometrics being scanned at the exit point at Kalotina BCP to Serbia.

During the pilot project, Vision-Box will rely on industry-focused assurance provider PwC Luxembourg, to help the biometrics firm to define the project’s use cases and support testing and reporting.

Bulgarian system integrator Global Sat will also support Vision-Box in the deployment of the solution on the ground and its maintenance throughout both phases of the pilot, which will last six months.

The project represents Vision-Box’s and the EU’s efforts in creating an EES, a landmark framework that will replace traditional border controls of Third-Country Nationals to facilitate travel within the Schengen area.

“We are thrilled to run this Frontex pilot for exploring the future of EES in Bulgaria and Europe, in partnership with the Ministry of Interior and the Border Police as long-time customers, PwC and Global Sat,” commented Vision-Box Vice President Strategic Sales & Global Partnerships Jeff Lennon.

“This innovative undertaking will allow all of us to stress-test ground-breaking technology in a very challenging environment, yet at a small scale,” Lennon added.

EES will feature interoperable digital data processing and automated biometric data collection and is set to be established across different European countries by the end of 2022.

“The implementation of self-service enrolment systems, when applied in full scale at the EU’s external borders, will facilitate efforts against illegal migration and will contribute to the security of European countries with a full commitment to personal data protection,” said Tsvetan Mutafchiev, executive director at Global Sat.

The news of the EES pilot in Bulgaria comes after Vision-Box closed several partnerships this year, aimed at deploying its Orchestra platform in a number of airports, including in Sint Maarten, Malaysia, and India.

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