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Five Eyes border security group outline data sharing strategy, biometrics

Five Eyes border security group outline data sharing strategy, biometrics

A partnership between the border security agencies of Five Eyes members –- the U.S., the UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand – has announced its latest collective strategy on data sharing and biometrics.

The CIO Tech Forum, a subsection for technology related to border security and immigration that is part of the Border 5/Migration 5 (B5M5), a partnership between the Five Eyes members, revealed its latest developments to share information between its members through what it calls the ‘Single Window Working Group’ (SWWG). The SWWG intends to create a unified portal to view each member’s immigration and customs data sets, which the CIO Tech Forum says will increase compliance, reduce processing times, share risk determination, increase digitization, boost transparency for industry, and reduce costs of trade.

To demonstrate the SWWG, the CIO Tech Forum used COVID-19-related products as a proof of concept, sharing information on medical supplies, personal care products, and personal protective equipment for low-level commodity data exchanges. The SWWG says the trial proved the feasibility of exchanging import and export data for specific commodities using common codes and utilizing the international standard as a base.

However, it adds there needs to be more analysis and stakeholder involvement to further determine the benefits of data sharing between the Five Eyes.

Similar initiatives like the SWWG previously launched by Five Eyes members include the Secure Real Time Platform that shares fingerprint biometric data.

The B5M5 also outlined a technology strategy document for 2020 to 2024 to guide its plans on data sharing through scalable, efficient, and cost-effective technology, which includes biometrics.

There is also mention of a ‘Border of the Future Strategic Plan,’ to facilitate “seamless traveler continuum among members” through common standards for improved data-sharing and systems integration and anticipating trends, threats, and common resolutions the B5M5 agencies will face in the near future.

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection representative confirmed to Biometric Update in an email that neither of the above documents are publicly available.

A touchless border often refers to the use of biometrics like facial recognition at airports and land crossings to identify or verify the identities of individuals coming to or leaving a country.

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