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Frontex foresight project identifies 20 biometric categories for future relevance

Frontex foresight project identifies 20 biometric categories for future relevance

Research project ‘Technology Foresight on Biometrics’ from EU border security agency Frontex, which studies the impact of emerging biometric technologies on the facilitation of border crossing at the EU external borders, has completed two new steps.

Frontex announced the tender for the project in September 2020 with a contract value of EUR 500,000 (US$590,000).

The project, led by Steinbeis 2i together with three subcontracted partners (4CF, ERREQUADRO and WAT) has been examining how to maximize the future benefits of biometrics in border management while minimizing its risks and ensuring full compliance with the existing legal, ethical and technological constraints.

The research team created a taxonomy of biometric technologies and carried out a Delphi survey to gather information on key technologies. Looking at the taxonomy of technologies early on provides foresight into areas which need to be addressed, according to the report, and establishes a common and systematic understanding of the technological field. The Delphi survey meanwhile assessed technological clusters to recognize key technological areas for the subsequent road-mapping and capability analysis exercises.

Frontex has been developing biometric Entry/Exit System (EES) projects around Europe replace traditional border controls of Third-Country Nationals to facilitate travel within the Schengen area.

Technological clusters in the ring

This part of the research investigated the advantage that the envisaged technological solution would have over the best available contemporary technological solutions, as well how soon a solution is foreseen to become available and widely adopted to perform border checks at the external EU borders.

​​Via a matrix of biometrics technological clusters, five were selected for in depth analysis including; 2D and 3D infrared facial recognition, contactless friction ridge recognition, iris recognition in the near-infrared spectrum and iris recognition in the visible spectrum.

Taxonomy of biometric technologies

In this section researchers analyzed large datasets where validated technologies were then categorized and included in a three-level taxonomy tree. This included modalities which had at least one relevant application in the fields of biometric recognition, border checks or access control, for example; DNA biometrics (biomolecular biometrics), vascular pattern recognition (morphological biometrics), and gait recognition (behavioral biometrics).

The project is ongoing, and outcomes of following phases will be published in Frontex’s newsletters.

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