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Frontex completes biometric Entry Exit System pilot in Spain and Bulgaria

Frontex completes biometric Entry Exit System pilot in Spain and Bulgaria

EU border agency Frontex has completed biometrics pilot projects for the bloc’s Entry Exit System (EES) in Spain and Bulgaria.

Frontex aims to change the way individuals cross borders, while also protecting security with centralized information on border crossings with EES.

The system will register travelers from non-EU countries as they cross an EU external border, registering their name, travel document, biometric data (fingerprints and facial image) and the place and date of entry or exit.

The data is then cross-checked in full compliance with fundamental rights and personal data protection measures, according to the agency’s announcement. 

Frontex has recently completed such EES trials in Spain and Bulgaria. Specifically, the systems demonstrations took place at Bulgaria’s border with Turkey and Spain’s border with UK territory Gibraltar.

They included self-service, biometric kiosks, seamless corridors and mobile devices used for registration and verification of travelers.

Participants in the pilot projects observed the processing of passengers and received feedback from colleagues operating the system. 

Initial data from the pilot projects has not yet been publicly disclosed, but the EU says its outcomes will be used by Member States’ border authorities and European agencies as the EU prepares for the (potentially delayed) implementation of the EES.

The pilots come months after Managing Director of Coppernic Kevin Lecuivre called for the exclusion of non-EU biometric technologies (such as from China or elsewhere) as part of the EES. A series of panels and debates about the new system was also recently held by Vision-Box.

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