Strengthening security at the Schengen Area borders – IDEMIA publish their five key recommendations for effective border control

The EU-EES imposes the secure enrollment of all TCNs to verify the identity of each person that
is entering the Schengen Area. This data is then shared with external data management systems at both a national and European level.

Inevitably, these additional checks will increase the traveler processing time, resulting in longer queues and longer waiting times. There will also be a need for extra space, equipment and trained border guards to manage the flows and provide supervision of the processes.
The additional checks mean that border guards will have further, and somewhat repetitive, duties to perform, which is why their daily jobs need to be streamlined as much as possible, enabling them to
perform their core mission with ease.

Here are our top five key recommendations to limit the impact of EU-EES on border control personnel and travellers

  1. Help border guards focus on added-value activities

Capturing high-quality pictures of a traveler’s face and guiding them on how to properly put their fingerprints on the sensor are not added-value tasks for border guards. In order to help them focus on fraud attempt detection, suspicious behavior and security related situations, the three concepts below are key.

  1. Expect reliable results with biometrics

Each Member State will have to collect alphanumeric and biometric data (four fingerprints and face) from TCNs. This data will be verified and securely stored for a maximum of three years. However, we cannot forget that collecting and checking biometric data in heterogeneous environments such as borders is not an easy task. Member States should only consider top-tier suppliers that have been independently benchmarked by official authorities, such as the National Institute Standards and Technology (NIST).

  1. Pre-processing API and PNR data to anticipate threats and save time at arrivals

Risk assessments enable governments to analyze travelers’ available data before their travel date to determine whether or not they may pose a risk. This helps to build a traveler profile, assisting border guards to make informed decisions and to spend time on those who present a threat, consequently streamlining bordercross checks for bona fide travelers.

  1. One size does not fit all: adapt your solution to your border crossing points

Each country and border has its own specificities and therefore needs a variety of solutions that are best adapted to its environment. There are vast differences between the air, land and sea borders as well as their capacity.

  1. How to avoid being the weakest link: ensure data security and privacy

Biometric and personal data is sensitive information, which is why eu-LISA ensures its security and data privacy from the Member State exit point and during all the subsequent data lifecycle. Having said that, Member States are responsible for this sensitive data from its capture to the transmission to eu-LISA to ensure its compliance with GDPR regulations