Scientists from the Institute of the Optoelectronics of the Military University of Technology take part in project PROTECT (Pervasive and UseR Focused BiomeTrics BordEr ProjeCT), Horizon 2020. The main coordinator from the MUT is Marcin Kowalski, DSc, Eng., from the Institute of the Optoelectronics.

PROTECT is 3-year EC H2020 project funded under the Secure Societies workprogramme and which commenced on September 1st 2016.

The main aim of PROTECT is to build an advanced biometric-based person identification system that works robustly across a range of border crossing types and that has strong user-centric features.

Advances in biometric technology promise improved security solutions for borders while simultaneously improving the traveller’s experience through expedited crossing of the border. The  PROTECT project deals with the problem of queuing but also that of proactively detecting spoofing attempts through advanced application of multimodal biometrics and counter spoofing. Specifically, the PROTECT system will investigate and propose new less obtrusive approaches to biometric data capture and verification, particularly the use of emerging and contactless biometrics. In particular, an extension to existing ABC gates will be considered whereby the identification process takes place in a biometric corridor that can be passed by the traveller without stopping. Such an approach will optimise security and integrity of facilitation of travellers, as well as enhancing the experience for citizens including for non-EU and frequent travellers.

A critical issue with biometrics arises with the collection of biometric data, which could be construed as being in conflict with fundamental human rights such as the right of liberty and the right to privacy and data protection. Thus, user requirements on a biometric-based person identification system do not only stem from the operators of the border, but also from the people being identified. This matter requires very careful considerations to find the balance between the need of security and the privacy interests of the European population. PROTECT will seek ways to put the citizen or legal resident back in a position whereby they have visibility of their personal data and its meaning.

In summary, PROTECT aims to research and prototype additional biometric modalities and methods of their application for the benefit of European border control and the industry that supports it, whilst conisdering the impact upon legislation, citizens’ and residents’ rights and freedom to travel and the welcome the EU offers to third country nationals.

First PROTECT prototypes were presented during The Security Research Event 2018 in December 2018 in Brussel.

The overall project coordinator is the University of Reading, UK. As a whole, the project integrates the project 10 partners along with an external Legal and Ethical Advisory (ELAG) Group and a Stakeholder Group.

Project details:

  • Project acronym: PROTECT
  • Participants: United Kingdom (Coordinator), Austria, Germany, Poland, Belgium, France
  • Project N°: 700259
  • Total costs: € 4 981 752
  • EU contribution: € 4 981 752
  • Duration: September 2016 to August 2019

Source: WAT

Photo: Project PROTECT website