Translated by
2019/06/13 16:18:29

Biometrics and border control

Investment into security of borders now, more than ever earlier, becomes a priority task for the governments of all countries of the free world. In spite of the fact that most of the people who are sent on leave know what information should be provided before landing to the airplane, in the different countries there are certain differences in exchange of information and coordination between different departments and organizations at national and international level that still creates problems both for the companies carriers, and for law enforcement agencies.

The directory of biometric technologies and projects is available on TAdviser.



The airports need to use biometrics of clients

At the end of October, 2019 it became known that Aeroflot is interested in use of biometric data by the Russian airports for their use at registration of passengers. TASS with reference to the deputy CEO of airline for IT Kirill Bogdanov reports about it. Read more here.

Date leak of Service of customs and border control of the USA

On June 11, 2019 it became known that the service of customs and border control of the USA (US Customs and Border Protection, CBP) announced date leak as a result of which malefactors got access to photos of travelers and license plate numbers.

Leak resulted from network hacking of subcontractor of department where data were loaded. According to the statement of CBP, an incident affected the given less than 100 thousand people. It is about photos of the machines crossing border of the USA, but not a photo from the airports. Other personally identified information did not suffer.

CBP noted that the contractor violated terms of the contract, without the knowledge of frontier service having loaded photos into the network.

As emphasized in department, the evidence of date leak in the Internet or the Darknet is not revealed. The frontier service did not report who stands behind cyber attack. The name of the company contractor also does not reveal [1].


The system of face recognition at the airport of Los Angeles

At the beginning of December, 2018 the Gemalto company specializing in a digital security announced implementation of biometric technology during landing time in terminal 4 at the international airport of Los Angeles (USA). Read more here.

At the airport of Shanghai registration of passengers and baggage for run through face recognition earned

Since October 15, 2018 at the international airport of Shanghai by Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport the China's first fully automatic system on registration of passengers and a design of baggage for run using a sensing technology of persons earned.

The automated procedure including independent registration of the passenger and baggage, preflight control and the boarding gate in the airplane is performed by means of special booths.

Passengers of the Hongqiao airport in Shanghai pass to self-service

According to The South China Morning Post, within the project on which implementation three years left installed eight devices of self-service in the terminal of the airport. With their help passengers scan the identity certificates and undergo identification procedure using a sensing technology of persons. All process takes about 12 seconds.[2]

Further it is supposed to improve service and to bring capacity of the terminal in hours of peak load to 2 thousand passengers per hour, the vice president of Shanghai Airport Group Dai Xiaojian reported in the press release.

It should be noted that the sensing technology of persons is applied also in other air harbors of China to acceleration of registration of passengers for run, but a system at the Shanghai airport became the first in which all process is completely automated. The new technology is not available to foreign tourists yet - only passengers owners Chinese the ID card can use an automated system, The Associated Press tells.

In an interview to the agency Zhang Zheng, the general manager of division of land services Spring Airlines, the first airline which tested a system reported that passengers willingly pass to self-service. On October 15 the automated procedure was undergone by 87% from more than 5 thousand passengers of airline who made flight that day.[3]

At 14 American airports the system of face recognition earned

On August 20, 2018 at 14 American airports the system of face recognition earned. The Service of customs and border control of the USA told about its efficiency (    U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, CBP). Read more here.

On border of the USA and Mexico the system of face recognition in cars is started

In June, 2018 it became known of start of a system of face recognition on border between the USA and Mexico. She is capable to identify people even if they are in the car.

According to the The Verge edition, within a year of Vehicle Face System will be tested at the check point through frontier Anzalduas in Texas and to check the machines going from and to Mexico.

The USA starts the system of identification of persons on border. Will recognize even in the machine

During the experiment "smart" cameras will check "for capability  the qualitative image of the person of each person who is in the vehicle", and "on the accuracy of biometric coincidence", reported the The Guardian edition in the customs border service of the USA (CBP).

The data collected by means of a system will be compared with those which are stored in databases of passports, visas and other documents to which CBP have an access.

Within testing of the camera will process not less than 1400 cars in three days. After the analysis these images will be removed, the representative of the American customs border service Jennifer Gabrys assured.

The project caused a wave of criticism from human rights activists who consider that excessively wide video surveillance system using "disputable technology" undermines constitutional rights and the right of people to confidentiality of private life.

It is an example of the growing trend of authoritative use of technologies for shadowing and prosecution of communities of immigrants. This absolute violation of our democratic rights, and we, undoubtedly, will fight back — the chief executive of Center for Media Justice Malkia Cyril considers.

According to him, the systems of face recognition can mistakenly identify more often black, women and young people, than elderly white men therefore it is impossible to use such technologies for fight against immigrants.[4]


The Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation wants to remove prints at all driving foreigners since 2017

Since 2017 the procedure of obligatory dactyloscopy can become obligatory for all foreigners who will drive to Russia. Such initiative was taken by the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation.

All foreigners arriving in Russia since 2017, perhaps, will be obliged to undergo the procedure of scanning of fingerprints. Law-enforcement department acted as the initiator of introduction of an innovation. It is planned that the issue will be discussed still by representatives the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the MFA of Russia with colleagues, including from the CIS countries.

Today in Russia the obligatory system of dactyloscopic registration for labor migrants in which more than 7 million people are already registered works. At the same time only those who address for the patent or the work authorization are obliged to undergo the procedure of removal of fingerprints, for the others – at will.

The offer on introduction of compulsory procedure of dactyloscopy for foreigners was stated earlier also by deputies of the State Duma, considering that the similar measure will serve as an additional barrier from terrorism[5].

Since 2021 in Kazakhstan will enter obligatory dactyloscopy

All foreigners in Kazakhstan will hand over fingerprints since 2021. Similar practice is already applied in other countries of the former Soviet Union.

Citizens of Kazakhstan and also foreigners arriving in the country, since 2021 will be obliged to hand over fingerprints. Obligatory paid dactyloscopy is already performed in Tajikistan for the citizens of the republic receiving any identity certificate and also in Russia since 2017 will remove prints at all driving foreigners, probably the Kazakh side is going to be guided by the same messages.

Deputies of the lower house of parliament of Kazakhstan approved in the first reading the bill "About Dactyloscopic and Genomic Registration" according to which in the republic obligatory dactyloscopic registration for foreigners and also for citizens is entered at execution of the passport, identity certificate or identity certificate of the seaman. Children from 12 to 16 years when obtaining the passport will hand over fingerprints at will, 12 years are younger will not undergo dactyloscopic registration.

As the Minister of Internal Affairs Kalmukhanbet Kasymov noted, "dactyloscopic information will be used in the purposes which are strictly determined by the law, for confirmation or identification on requests of courts, law enforcement agencies, bodies of enforcement proceeding, inquiry and investigation". All collected information will be stored in the ciphered electronic form in the protected database of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the republic. Commenting on terms of the beginning of operation of the law, the Interior Minister told that implementation of the similar project is costly and technically difficult therefore enforcement of the law is planned for 2021. Collecting of payment from citizens for conducting dactyloscopy by state officials is not mentioned[6] yet[7].


Biometric passports prevent work of CIA agents

The USA, the European Union and many other countries of the world now actively implement biometric passports. Usually such passport contains the chip where in a digital form are written the photo of the owner, a surname, a name, a middle name, date of birth, the passport number, etc. It may contain fingerprints, the scan of an iris of the eye of an eye and other biometric information which unambiguously identifies its owner. It is much more difficult to forge such passport normal. It is not holograms, watermarks and other methods of protection — with it there are just no problems, put in biometric information.[8]

A new system outright disturbs representatives of intelligence agencies. The Wired magazine published in the spring of 2012 article about into what unpleasant situation got CIA and their colleagues from other countries, especially from the Israeli Mossad because with the Israeli passport it is impossible to drive practically to one country of the Middle East.

If earlier agents traveled all over the world, changing passports as a glove, then with check of biometrics departure from the country becomes the one way ticket: you any more will not never be able to return under other name. Thus, standard circuits of work of CIA, MI6 and other services through traditional points of routing of agents in the UAE, Jordan and India and the European cities break.

Though CIA tries to influence a situation, but even they cannot cancel introduction of biometric passports in dozens of the countries of the world. Actually, intelligence agencies are the main opponent of this technical innovation now. So when in some country decide to cancel obligatory dactyloscopy or record of biometric information on the chip in the passport at the last minute, it is practically always clear who stands behind this solution.

Meanwhile even intelligence agencies of the USA have no technology which would allow to replace an eye iris of the eye to issue the agent for other person.

Informants of Wired reported that biometric passports are the main problem which faces intelligence services now. Naturally, even the former agents refuse flatly to give comments on this subject, but on the condition of anonymity some confirmed this information. They told that now work with false passports is delivered on a flow: the agent can receive any passport which is required to it. Usually to the country he drives by one passport, in hotel moves into on another, and in case of need takes additional passports without any limit. What will be after introduction of biometric identification — nobody knows, both the hotel, and car rental agency — all will check passports and to verify information with the database of immigration service. Usually it is done for identification of illegal immigrants with the expired visa. But if it turns out that this person never drove on the territory of the country, then at once will call the police.

It agrees to the documents declassified at the end of 2014 by WikiLeaks, CIA is extremely dissatisfied with perspective of introduction of obligatory delivery of biometric data for the unofficial persons driving without visa to the countries of the Schengen area – i.e., to the European Union, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein[9].

"The European Commission considers the possibility to demand without fail from the travelers driving to the Schengen area, to hand over biometric data in an entrance point that increases threat of disclosure of the personality for all travelers from the USA", - the document entitled by 'CIA Advice for US Government Operatives Infiltrating Schengen" says.

The European Commission in 2015 is going to start a new control system of borders within which all driving, including unofficial persons, will have to hand over the digital fingerprint of a finger at the airports. So, in October of this year the corresponding equipment was installed at the airport of Zurich, one of the largest German cities.

The project "accurately fulfills the current requirements of the Customs code of the Schengen area and it is expected keeping within future standards", - says the official press release of police of Zurich. Thus, a similar system can be met across all EU that seriously disturbs U.S. intelligence.

It is interesting that in the United States such measure works for a long time. Under the law, at entry into the USA one and all tourists are obliged to hand over fingerprints for "reasons of national security". Thus, spies of CIA faced in Europe by means of what quite successfully tracked down the foreign colleagues.

About need of adoption of reliable standards of biometric identification published in 2012 opinion of the CEO of DPM System company Peter Forrest on need of adoption of reliable standards of biometric identification which can lay the foundation of a new era in security of borders.

International security and frontiers

There is a question of whether are ready to support the countries effective cooperation in fight against terrorism or they pay bigger attention security of own borders? The governments of the different countries even more often show readiness to use the Advanced Passenger Information System (APIS) system and aim to expand its application for collecting of more detailed information on passengers. Despite this trend, there is practically no information exchange at the state and interdepartmental level where normal methods of control and ordering of information are still traditionally used. The key moment in solution of the problem of effective security of borders is check of legitimacy of a trip before departure of the passenger. The APIS system is for this purpose used (The system of the preliminary information about passengers) which cannot effectively function, will not be accepted internationally yet. For this purpose the aspiration of all countries to cooperation and information exchange with participation of all bodies – from customs to police and also immigration services and security agencies is required.

International standardization

Exchange of information can be optimized by adoption of strict international standards. Now, despite all efforts of the Interpol and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and also International Organization for Standardization (ISO), in the different countries significant differences in approaches to collecting and information storage about passengers – from biometric data to detailed information on the made trip are still observed.

This process is connected with collecting of huge information volume, including the data obtained using the APIS system, boarding passes, documents completed for obtaining visas, customs declarations most of which part gathers already during air flight. Standards are extremely important for mass implementation of the technologies increasing efficiency of border control, however standardization requires cooperation between the governments and understanding of the best solutions of this problem by them.

Conducting departmental examination is a key factor for achievement of mutual understanding between the governments. The greatest success in this area was achieved the USA and the United Kingdom as in government structures of these countries there are many supporters of these technologies and they should not involve third-party consultants. As a result these governments not only understand complex problems of security of borders in constantly changing situation, but also are familiar with the technology developments playing a large role in increase in security. Using such experts, the governments perform close cooperation with information technology specialists in this industry by consideration of the most effective solutions providing problem solving of cross-border security at national and international level and considering a pronounced tendency to standardization.

If the governments manage to make use of experience of the experts in cross-border security and to set cooperation with standardization organizations, the concept of a single global system of security of borders will be implemented much quicker that will promote strengthening of the international security and world economy.

The value of these technologies for passengers

Experts in cross-border security still express concern about lack of progress in implementation of international standards. It should be noted that there are all technical capabilities for ensuring ideal information exchange. There is global communication infrastructure equipped with intermediate software tools for ensuring compatibility of databases, the standards providing a possibility of connection of the different systems while ISO developed a number of standards for safe storage and information transfer about passengers, including biometric data are available or developed.

If these standards will be adopted, they will be able to provide the main standard units for improvement of data collection by security services and quality improvement of service of passengers. For example, at the Heathrow airport the system of fast tracking of passengers who were already registered is already used and underwent scanning of an iris of the eye of an eye. Instead of standing in infinite queues, these passengers can just pass by the device scanning an eye iris of the eye at the airport, at the same time all procedure takes some minutes. The Gatwick airport is tested a similar system, however, it would be necessary to approve implementation of these technologies for information exchange improvement.

Ensuring safe information exchange in real time between the airports of departure and arrival will allow to improve service quality of passengers really. Moreover, labor-intensive and difficult process of identification by checking of the photo in the passport of the passenger with his face and verifications of its documents manually will be eliminated thanks to what highly-skilled employees will be able to focus on other aspects, for example, on identification of the persons demanding additional check that will promote substantial increase of efficiency of all process of security of borders.


There are all necessary technologies for ensuring effective information exchange between different continents and regions. At the same time an important role in the solution of this problem is played also by the measures taken by such organizations as the Interpol, ISO and ICAO for stimulation of adoption of standards in this area. There are all opportunities for effective exchange of information between the different countries.

The governments should show a political will for the organization of negotiations with the purpose of discussion of opportunities of exchange of information that will allow to lay the strong foundation for establishment of trusted relationships in the course of ensuring the international security.

Considering the permanent growth of threats of the international security and also aspiration of all national economies to minimization of unjustified expenses on information technology implementation, now it is absolutely necessary will start use of reliable international standards that will mark a new era of biometric identification and international cooperation in information exchange.

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