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Partnerships address EU border biometrics challenges with $216M deal, research project

iDenfy deployment proposed to address migration crisis
Partnerships address EU border biometrics challenges with $216M deal, research project

A consortium including Unisys has been selected to provide biometric authentication at EU borders, while the EAB has joined a research collaboration to address the threat to border control posed by face morphing. Border control challenges in Lithuania, meanwhile, have prompted a call to use iDenfy’s biometrics to identify those without official ID.

Unisys leads consortium to bring biometric authentication to EU borders

A new four-year contract to deploy smart technology, including biometrics, for convenient and secure travel in the EU was announced last week by global IT solutions company Unisys, which will be leading the consortium in partnership with Uni Systems and Wavestone.

The $216 million (€181 million) contract covers consultation on the design of major European IT systems to provide end-to-end support to operational management agency eu-LISA, and a range of services including biometric authentication and mobile enablement, as eu-LISA continues to upgrade and streamline European passenger flows.

The new smart systems will lower waiting times at border controls and provide a higher level of security and strengthen the management of the EU borders via more efficient use of IT tools and technologies, according to the announcement.

​​“Technology plays a vital role in creating a safer and better Europe, and we are thrilled to support and enable eu-LISA in achieving its short- and long-term vision. By forming this unique consortium, we are able to support the continued needs of the European Union as it expands and grows its mission, offering the best service and implementation available for an easier traveler journey and in general enhancement of free travel of people in Europe,” says Bill Brown, senior vice president and general manager, Business Platforms and Services, at Unisys.

Eu-LISA recently co-hosted a workshop on biometric image quality assessment with the EAB and NIST.

EAB joins EU research project to combat digital identity document fraud

The European Association for Biometrics (EAB) is participating in the EU funded research project iMARS (Image Manipulation Attack Resolving Solutions) alongside 24 other partners to develop tools to detect manipulated face images, particularly morphed face images in the identity document life cycle and verify the authenticity of identity documents.

Morphing refers to the process of merging different facial images to create a new one, with the aim of spoofing biometric systems.

​​Over the course of 4 years, the project team will work to combat ID fraud through assessment of biometrics systems vulnerability, development of morphing attack detection (MAD) solutions and anticipation of new morphing attacks on other biometric modalities in future travel documents, among other goals.

The project will also ultimately contribute to standardization efforts in the field of presentation attack detection (PAD) and face image quality assessment, as well as the development of simple, low-cost solutions that are compatible with existing systems.

iDenfy’s app a proposed solution to migration crisis at Lithuania’s Belarusian border

Border security continues to be a pressing concern in Europe. Belarusian migrants have been arriving at Lithuania’s borders due to the deteriorating political situation in Belarus. Lithuania, in response, has been building a border fence and taking stringent measures against the influx.

The Fintech Hub LT association, which unites fintech industry participants in Lithuania, has advised the country’s government to use iDenfy’s app in order to filter border crossings via biometric identification, reports PCR.

IDenfy’s app could help Lithuanian authorities to identify migrants with and without travel documents and passports, leveraging automatic ID document detection and advanced liveness detection, ID verification and facial recognition, according to the report. The app detects if the identity document provided is forged or tampered with in any way, and if it meets security requirements.

Border authorities will then be able to see migrants’ legalization status, and country of origin, which will speed up immigration procedures, return those who have crossed illegally, and avoid timely delays in processing, according to PCR.

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis has asked for Turkey’s help in identifying many Turkish migrants who have arrived at the border via Turkish Airlines flights into Belarus, whilst demanding that officials in Minsk (Belarus) end the flow of illegal migrants across the shared border.

“In addition, it helps illegal immigrants return to their country of origin sooner and provide humanitarian assistance to those in need,” says Domantas Ciulde, CEO of iDenfy and a member of the Fintech Hub LT Association.

Head of the Fintech Hub LT Association Vaiva Amule similarly hopes that the solution will provide some relief for Lithuanian border authorities, “​​the FinTech sector employs many talented professionals who can and want to contribute to solving national security challenges. We hope that the technology solutions provided will help you manage this crisis more quickly and easily.”

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