press releases

secunet supports pilot project for the border control management of the future

[Essen/Germany, 10 February 2016] secunet has been providing support to the German authorities in the implementation of the European Commission's Smart Borders pilot project. The joint project of the German Federal Police, the German Federal Office for Information Security and the German Federal Office of Administration aims to demonstrate how new technologies can optimise the border control management of the external Schengen borders.

The Smart Borders programme is a European Commission initiative with the aim of making entry to and exit from Europe more efficient for non-EU citizens. The external Schengen borders are to be equipped with an intelligent Entry/Exit System (EES) that will improve control procedures and therefore increase security and convenience. This should also make crossing the border quicker for trustworthy frequent travellers.

As part of the nine-month EU pilot project, new devices for capturing the biometric data of travellers during border control were tested in order to trial different technical alternatives. In comparison to the other member states involved in the pilot project, Germany has broadened the scope of the project. In particular, all modified processes and their impact on the entire border control process have been examined. Germany is the only member state to have fully trialled the EES-specific control processes from start to finish and to have evaluated their impact on the planned border control process.

The European Commission's pilot project ended in November and the final report was published on 11 December by eu-LISA, the European Agency for Large-Scale IT Systems. The German project participants have decided to continue with the project until the end of 2016 in order to see its effects over a longer time period. secunet has assisted the German Federal Police (BPOL), the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) and the German Federal Office of Administration (BVA) from the project outset, provided support throughout the entire development and implementation phase, conceptualised and overseen processes, analysed results and provided modern border control technology. The secunet experts have been able to draw on their experience of the many major biometric and border control projects that they have completed both in Germany and abroad in recent years.

Featured in the Smart Borders pilot project German installations are the secunet eID PKI Suite, a Public Key Infrastructure (specifically for the management of official documents), secunet bocoa (an optimised border control application used by border control staff for traveller clearance) and the secunet easygate automated border control system. The secunet bioserver, which connects the biometric modules on the server, has been used for the downstream analysis and quality evaluation of biometric data gathered as part of the pilot.

The German Smart Borders pilot installations are located on the EU's external border checkpoints at Frankfurt airport and the cruise terminal in Rostock-Warnemünde and they can be used by third-country nationals to cross the border.