Facial recognition-based border control system in Netherlands to process millionth passenger by end of year

By End the Lie

Readers of End the Lie are likely well aware of the rapid growth of the use of biometrics. Everything from facial recognition (with increasingly fast recognition systems) to pedo-biometrics to remote biometrics to soft biometrics to voice recognition and centralized government databases are on the rise.

While this can easily be seen in the United States, where the FBI is sharing facial recognition software with police across the country, it is in fact a global phenomenon.

This is evidenced by the E-Gate system, developed by Accenture and Vision-Box, being used by the Ministry of Internal Affairs in the Netherlands.

It’s interesting to note that Accenture has a relatively close relationship with the U.S. government. They were awarded a cost-plus-fixed-fee contract worth over $25 million (with a ptotential value of over $43 million) by the Navy earlier this year. Accenture is also involved with RFID technology.

E-Gate is an automated border control system relying on facial recognition and is slated to process its one millionth passenger at the Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, according to an announcement made at the recently held Biometrics Exhibition and Conference 2012 in London.

Accenture worked on the E-Gate system with Vision-Box, a Portugal-based company specializing in automated border control systems, according to Homeland Security News Wire.

The E-Gate system reportedly has significantly reduced the processing times for passengers traveling through the airport “while maintaining border security by more efficiently validating passenger identities and travel documentation,” according to the Herald Online.

The system leverages facial recognition to actually process passenger information before they are allowed to cross the border. If someone is on one of the many watch lists of national security agencies, the officers manning the checkpoint are alerted.

However, it’s not quite as simple as just letting people walk through an automated gate system.

Passengers are required to have a biometric passport in order to use the system. This biometric passport contains a microchip issued by the home country of the passenger within the European Union or the European Economic Region.

Passengers who have the required biometric passport approach the checkpoint and place their passport on a device which automatically verifies their identity.

The identity of the traveler is then confirmed via facial recognition as well as a background check courtesy of the Dutch authorities.

Accenture claims that their system is one of the fastest on the face of the Earth with processing times averaging at a mere eight seconds per passenger. The company claims that 97 percent of passengers wait less than four minutes during peak travel hours thanks to their biometrics-based system.

“With continuing growth in international travel volumes and increasingly complex documentation and visa requirements, there is a greater need than ever to verify passengers’ identities using new technologies that are supported by efficient human processes,” said Mark Crego, head of Accenture’s Border and Identity Management division, according to the Herald Online.

“Accenture is working with border management agencies around the world to deliver solutions that facilitate the efficient movement of people and goods while, at the same time, increase border security and protect travelers,” Credo added.

With voice recognition avatars already being deployed at border crossings in the United States, one must wonder how long it will be until we see such systems here as well. That being said, biometrics systems are already being tested and deployed in the U.S. by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), so it wouldn’t be much of a leap to see a system like E-Gate here as well.

Do you think we’ll see similar systems deployed overtly in the United States in the near future? Should we be concerned about these developments or are they completely innocuous? Let us know in the comments section.

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4 Responses to Facial recognition-based border control system in Netherlands to process millionth passenger by end of year

  1. squodgy November 6, 2012 at 3:39 PM

    Just going through GATWICK in England for a simple internal shuttle flight. Firstly we had a biometric scan at check-in so we could be identified at body check & gate. At body check, I was fully groped for nothing other than the watch…I had absolutely NOTHING on me except pant, socks & shirt, except my watch which I was previously told I need not remove!
    At the gate, I chose to put my specs on to see what happened…3rd degree interrogation. Next time I’m going to try face distortions at stage one.
    Of course this is only fun for non-terrorists…a rare club of which it seems we are ALL members.

    Reply
  2. Nora November 6, 2012 at 9:02 PM

    Why do we need permission to exercise our God given right to travel freely? This Orwellian crap gets worse by the day. There are no terrorists, other than those who work in secrecy for the shadow government, none have been snared by any of these ridiculous measures, and until enough of us refuse to fly that it puts the airlines out of business, we’ll be forced to endure this nonsense. Don’t submit to the groping pedophiles or the harmful radiation scattering scanners, put your foot down and boycott the airlines until they give the TSA and the likes of this stuff the boot. We need to close ranks and stop this humiliation, oppression and physical assault on our persons. TSA stands for Tyrannical Sociopathic Association! Stand up to it and say “NO!”.

    Reply
  3. Sash November 8, 2012 at 2:48 PM

    Next time you get punched in the face by the person seated next to you onboard a flight, or stabbed with a fork for leaning your seat back, you can thank this system for being able to prove who this person actually is. Better example, next time your wife or daughter gets groped while sleeping by the pedo/scumbag seated next to her, you can thank this system for being able to prove who he actually is. If people didn’t create false identities to conceal their criminal behaviour, this money would be spent on treating cancer and the like instead. If you want to fly, get used to this, simple.

    Reply
  4. Dave Truman November 15, 2012 at 4:33 AM

    I’ve just flown from Rio de Janeiro to Buenos Aires. Argentina is a country that I visit fairly frequently. My flight took just over two hours, followed by a further two hours of being processed through the new biometric immigration system that the Argentine government has introduced.

    This came as a complete, and rather unpleasant, shock to me. As the queue slowly snaked forward for obligatory fingerprinting and retina scanning, we were treated to a slick “public information” video, telling us how good it was to “know ourselves better”. Admittedly, this propaganda was aimed at Argentine citizens, but this only served to increase my sense of anger when I realised that all Argentinians will now have to carry biometric identity cards. How can a country that is on the brink of financial collapse; a country that can hardly afford to keep the Buenos Aires Metro running, afford this? Why have the Argentine people acquiesced, apparently without so much as a murmor of protest?

    As the queue nudged forward, inch by inch, I had plenty of time to think of clever things to say when it was my turn to be processed: about how all this made a mockery of the symbols of liberty on the country’s national shield; about how the Argentine people have too easily forgotten their turbulent history. In the end, I resigned myself to be humiliated. I was too tired to do otherwise. At the booth next to me, a six-month old baby was having its fingerprints taken and retinas scanned. Welcome to the future. Welcome to globalisation.

    Reply

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