Europe set to trial biometrics at land, sea and air borders
Non-EU nationals are to be asked to provide their facial, fingerprint images – and even iris scans – at numerous border locations across the European Union, as part of a “smart borders” package now being implemented.
According to euobserver, half-dozen major airports will be included initially, although at this stage passengers can refuse to give the data.
Draft internal EU documents (subject to change) say the program is to start in March and run until September.
It is understood that the following airport locations will be used: Arlanda (Sweden), Charles de Gaulle (France), Frankfurt (Germany), Lisbon (Portugal), Madrid (Spain), and Schiphol (Netherlands) as participating airports.
According to euobserver, Frankfurt and Schiphol will ask between four to ten fingerprint sets. Madrid will ask for four and Charles de Gaulle eight. Arlanda, Charles de Gaulle, and Madrid airports will request facial image-captures from disembarking passengers.
The airport in Lisbon is to perform iris pattern scans.
It appears that biometric screening will also extend to road, train, and sea routes. Iris images are to be taken on roads leading into Udvar in Hungary and Sculeni in Romania. Other border towns will ask for fingerprints – Kipoi Evrou in Greece and Vaalimaa in Finland.
Participating cars and buses will be pulled aside in a waiting area for the experiment.
Border guards will also capture fingerprint scans on moving trains from Paris (Gare du Nord) and Lasi (Romania). Travellers at Lasi could also be asked for facial image captures.
Seaports and moving vessels in Helsinki (Finland), Port of Piraeus (Greece), Cherbourg (France), and Genova (Italy) are also set to participate, euobserver noted.
eu-LISA, a EU agency tasked to manage large-scale information systems used by border guards and law enforcement, is running the pilot.