How AI and ETIAS Are Strengthening Border Control?

In this article

Artificial Intelligence has driven some major improvements to the world and made all types of processes faster and more efficient. In some cases, AI can enhance safety or reduce business costs, so it is a very powerful type of technology that is becoming increasingly useful and valuable.
Facial recognition is a type of AI that is now being commonly used for security purposes. One example is using facial recognition to unlock devices such as smartphones and laptops. Despite AI being very effectively used in many ways, there is some debate regarding whether AI should be used in certain circumstances due to concerns about privacy and transparency.
The EU has been working on ways to improve border control security and one important measure that is to be introduced is the ETIAS system. The ETIAS system is due to be launched at the end of 2022 to enable border control to identify high-risk travelers by running security checks on anyone entering the EU.
Previously, citizens of 60 countries outside of the EU were able to visit the Schengen zone without requiring any type of travel authorization. From 2022, citizens of the 60 countries listed for visa waiver must apply for an ETIAS to enter the Schengen zone.

How AI will be used for ETIAS?

The role that AI will play in the ETIAS system has been in regular discussion by authorities to see how it can best be implemented, while still considering ethical implications. The EU Commission published guidance for ensuring the AI that is used is trustworthy, with the ethical considerations being:
  • Human agency and oversight
  • Privacy and data protection
  • Societal and environmental wellbeing
  • Technical robustness and safety
The AI used for the ETIAS system must incorporate these requirements listed above.
Interpol has already been using facial recognition to identify criminals and has been successful in detaining some serious criminals, such as murderers. It is expected that facial recognition technology will also play a big part in preventing terrorists from entering the Schengen zone.
As part of the ETIAS system, travelers must have a biometric passport which is machine-readable. This will enable the detection of identity fraud at the border control and prevent the possibility of high-risk travelers entering the Schengen zone using a fake passport or another person’s passport.

Future AI possibilities

Another type of AI solution that is being tested are lie detectors which are able to pick suspicious movement patterns and can even identify body language that is connected with deception. AI lie detectors have been able to detect when a person is lying by analysing their facial expressions, among other measures that a human would be unable to detect.

How ETIAS is protecting data?

The ETIAS system is managed by EU-LISA, an agency that supports Member States of the EU by providing services and solutions that improve safety across Europe. They also ensure that the highest level of information security and data protection is applied on their systems. Advanced technology is used to encrypt data and there are restrictions on which personnel is able to access data.
Written by: Fikayomi Abisola
Abisola is an ETIAS Travel and Immigration writer with several years of writing experience in the industry. Abisola has a unique enthusiasm for travels, tours, and tourism and loves to educate travellers about the criteria involved in international travelling.

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