German Federal Criminal Police Office

Together with the German Federal Criminal Police Office, secunet is developing the first guidelines for automated optical passport verification

At airport border control, travel documents are checked electronically and using optical methods.

In Germany, both tasks can be carried out by a machine, provided that the machine follows the TR-03135 technical guideline set out by the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI). As there is an additional need for practical guidelines for optical document verification, the German Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) recently commissioned secunet to create them.

Since 2013, secunet has been working with the BKA to evaluate the performance of optical document verification systems under Project AROMA (Advanced Research on Optical Machine Authentication).

Based on the results of this analysis, secunet is now working with the BKA to devise best practice guidelines for automated optical passport control. The guidelines will address document designers, document verification system manufacturers and machine operators.

The new guidelines will help to improve verification quality and enhance border security – and they will ultimately play an international role; the Technical Advisory Group of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has already given the green light for further development of the guidelines into an official ICAO technical report. What’s more, the insights from Project AROMA have already been fed into the TR-03135 guideline.

However, this is just one milestone in the project; secunet is currently working with the BKA to develop the second part of the guidelines, which will contain recommendations for evaluating optical document verification systems – from test planning to evaluation. This part of the document will also include the results of a detailed practical test con-ducted at border control gates at Frankfurt airport. The BKA and the German Federal Police thus have a strong partner onside as they continue to analyse and optimise the quality of optical document verification systems.